File photo of Neeraj Copra.© AFP
Javelin ace Neeraj Chopra on Saturday won the gold medal at the Kuortane Games in Finland after registering a throw of 86.69m on his first attempt. He finished ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Keshorn Walcott and world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada. Chopra, who recently set the new national record, started off strong with his 86.69m throw, which was good enough to pip his competitors. He made two foul throws and opted out of the last three throws. This was just his second competition since the Tokyo Olympics, where he became the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics.
Walcott finished a close second with a throw of 86.64m, while Peters was third with a best attempt of 84.75.
Reigning Asian and world para javelin champion Sandeep Chaudhary, who was also training at the Kuortane Olympic Training Centre along with Chopra, also took part in the competition and finished eighth with a best throw of 60.35m.
In rainy conditions, Chopra started well, but made an intentional foul with his second throw. He then had a nasty slip as he went for his third throw, following which he did not throw anymore.
Earlier in the week, Chopra won the silver medal at the Paavo Nurmi Games, when he also broke his own national record with a throw of 89.30m.
His earlier national record was 88.07m which he had set in Patiala in March last year.
Finland’s Oliver Helander, who won gold at the Paavo Nurmi Games with an effort of 89.83m, did not turn up on Saturday though his name was entered.
Chopra will next take part in the Stockholm leg of the Diamond League on June 30.
With PTI inputs
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