After spending weeks on the sideline, Neeraj Chopra will be back in action at the Lausanne Diamond League meet, along with long jumper Sreeshankar Murali.

Chopra, the Tokyo Olympics gold medallist in the men’s javelin throw event, who won the season-opening meet in Doha, picked up a muscle strain and was forced to to miss FBK Games in the Netherlands on June 4, and the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland on June 13 due to an injury he sustained in training.

Sreeshankar, on the other hand, takes part in his second Diamond League meet of the season, fresh after jumping a personal best of 8.41m at the recent Inter State Athletics Championships and finishing third at the Paris Diamond League meet earlier this month.

Athletics: Neeraj Chopra, Sreeshankar Murali to return to action at Lausanne Diamond League

Who is Chopra competing against?

Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch from the Czech Republic is the in-form athlete in the eight-man javelin throw field having won six of the seven meets this season. The only event he came second in, incidentaly, was at the Doha Diamond League where he finished second, behind Chopra.

Since that night in Doha, Vadlejch won five meets on the trot while also throwing a world lead 89.51m throw at the Paavo Nurmi Games a fortnight ago.

Reigning world champion Anderson Peters from Grenada, European champion Julian Weber from Germany, and Finland’s Oliver Helander will be Chopra’s biggest competitors on Friday.

Lausanne Diamond League javelin start list

Athlete Season best Personal best
Jakub Vadlejch 89.51 90.88
Oliver Helander 87.32 89.83
Julian Weber 88.37 89.54
Anderson Peters 85.88 93.07
Neeraj Chopra 88.67 89.94
Patriks Gailums 84.05 84.05
Keshorn Walcott 85.85 90.16
Artur Felfner 82.24 84.32
Curtis Thompson 79.65 87.70

Who is Sreeshankar competing against?

In a stacked starting list, Sreeshankar’s biggest competition will be Tokyo Olympics champion Miltiadis Tentoglou. The Greek jumper comes into the meet days after jumping 8.34m in Poland.

Also competing in Lausanne will be world championships bronze medallist Simon Ehammer, 2022 Diamond League Final winner Thobias Montler, Commonwealth Games champion LaQuan Nairn of Bahamas, and 2019 Asian Champion Yuki Hashioka. Also keep an eye out for 18-year-old upcoming Italian athlete Mattia Furlani.

Sreeshankar (8.09m) had finished third in Paris behind Tentoglou (8.13m) and Ehammer (8.11m).

Lausanne Diamond League long jump start list

Athlete Season best Personal best
LaQuan Nairn  8.10 8.22
Filip Pravdica 8.09 8.09
Miltiadis Tentoglou 8.34 8.60
Sreeshankar Murali 8.41 8.41
Mattia Furlani 8.24 8.24
Yuki Hashioka 8.06 8.36
Cheswill Johnson 8.08 8.26
Simon Ehammer 8.32 8.45
Thobias Montler 8.01 8.27

What is the Diamond League?

The Diamond League season comprises 14 meetings, with men and women competing in 16 of its primary disciplines. However, not all events will be at all the 14 meets. The athletes compete for points at 14 series meetings from May to September, with the most successful in each discipline qualifying for the Diamond League Final in Eugene (September 16-17).

At each of the meetings where their event is featured, athletes are awarded 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 points for ranking first to eighth respectively. The top six in the field events, top eight for 100m-800m and the top ten for 1500m and long distance events will qualify for the Final. In case of a tie, the athlete with the best legal performance of the season is ranked higher.

Where to watch?

The Lausanne Diamond League will be shown on Sports18 network in India, with JioCinema streaming it online. Men’s long jump starts at 12.05 am IST while javelin starts at 12.18 am IST.