Lisbon: Indian javelin thrower and former junior world record holder Neeraj Chopra won the javelin gold medal Thursday. Neeraj Chopra was participating in the ‘Meeting Cidade de Lisboa’ here. He took the yellow metal with a throw of 83.18 metres recorded in his sixth and last attempt. It was a nice warm-up for the Tokyyo Olympics which is just over a month away, but one should not forget that the competition was below par.
In the field of five Portuguese competitors, 23-year-old Chopra’s best throw was 83.18m. It was enough as the others failed cross the 80-metre mark.
Leandro Ramos of Portugal was second with a throw of 72.46m while Francisco Fernandes, also from Portugal, was third with a throw of 57.25m.
Chopra’s opening throw was 80.71m while his second and third attempts were no throws. He failed to get a good rhythm in the fourth and could only record a throw of 78.50m. His fifth attempt too was no throw while the last and sixth throw show him cover the maximum distance.
Chopra has a season best of 88.07m recorded in March in Patiala. His performance Thursday indicated he might take more time to regain his competitive sharpness. The competition here marked Chopra’s return to foreign soil after nearly 18 months.
In January 2020, Chopra competed at the South African domestic meet in Potchefstroom.Then he had registered a throw of 87.86m to better the Tokyo Olympic qualification standard of 85m. Thereafter, he couldn’t compete at the international level due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last week he got visa to travel to France and then he moved to compete in Portugal.