'Back with a bang': Neeraj Chopra lauded for clinching historic Lausanne Diamond League Meet title
Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra on Friday scripted yet another historic feat as he became the first Indian to clinch a Diamond League Meet title by winning the Lausanne leg.
Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, an Olympic champion, made history on Friday by becoming the first Indian to win the Lausanne leg of the Diamond League Meet.
The 24-year-old Chopra, who had to withdraw from the Birmingham Commonwealth Games because of a "minor" groin injury sustained while taking home silver at the World Championships last month, threw the spear to 89.04m on his first try to secure the victory.
After a month of rest and rehabilitation, Neeraj Chopra returned to his previous level of performance, making it seem like the injury never occurred.
His third-best effort in his career was the 89.04 m throw. His second throw, which measured 85.18 metres, was unsuccessful, as was his third.
Neeraj Chopra's fourth throw was a foul while he again passed his fifth attempt before coming up with 80.04m in the sixth and last round. Only the top three after the fifth round get the sixth throw.
The youngster from Khandra village near Panipat in Haryana became the first Indian to win a Diamond League crown.
Before Neeraj Chopra, discus thrower Vikas Gowda is the only Indian to have finished in the top-three in a Diamond League Meet.
Gowda had finished second twice -- in New York in 2012 and in Doha in 2014 -- and third on two occasions -- Shanghai and Eugene in 2015.
Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch finished second with a best throw of 85.88m, while Curtis Thompson of the USA was third with a best effort of 83.72m.
Neeraj Chopra also qualified for the Diamond League Finals in Zurich on September 7 and 8. He also became the first Indian to do so. He also qualified for the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, by breaching the 85.20m qualifying mark.
Neeraj Chopra had finished second in the Stockholm leg of the prestigious event behind world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada with a national record throw of 89.94m, just 6cm short of the 90m mark, the gold standard in the world of javelin throw. Peters is recovering from an injury after he was assaulted inside a boat in his country earlier this month.
In the World Championships in Eugene, USA, he was not in the medal position till the third round, but Neeraj Chopra was leading from the first throw till the end though the eight-man field was not so strong.
Meanwhile, congratulatory messages poured in for the javelin superstar. Neeraj Chopra's historic feat was lauded on Twitter by sports stars, politicians, and celebrities. Here's a look at some of the reactions: