Fresh from having won his first World Athletics Championship gold medal, star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will take to the Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon in the United States to defend his Diamond League Final title.
The final in Eugene will be Chopra’s penultimate appearance before he ends the long season at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in a fortnight.
Chopra is the only Indian competing in Eugene after 3000m steeplechaser Avinash Sable and long jumper Sreeshankar Murali pulled out of the event to focus on the Asian Games.
Diamond League refresher
The Diamond League Final is the culmination of 13 Diamond League meets held in as many cities over the course of four months. At the Diamond League meets, athletes from 16 disciplines compete for points. Not all events are in one meet, with each meet featuring a collection of different disciplines.
At the end of the 13 meets, the athletes with the most points, according to each discipline, qualify for the final. 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.
The men’s javelin event was featured in four Diamond League meets in Doha, Lausanne, Monaco and Zurich. Winners of each meet as well as the top eight points winners have qualified for the final in Eugene.
Javelin standings at the meets
The Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch finished top of the standings with 29 points having won the Monaco and Zurich meetings while finishing second and third in Doha and Lausanne respectively.
Germany’s Julian Weber finished second ahead of Chopra with 25 points having finished second in Lausanne and Monaco while finishing third in Zurich. Chopra finished third with 23 points, having won in Doha and Lausanne before finishing second in Zurich. The Indian had skipped the Monaco meet.
Diamond League standings
|3||Neeraj Chopra||23||First||First||Did not compete||Second|
|5||Keshorn Walcott||11||Sixth||Seventh||Third||Did not compete|
|6||Oliver Helander||10|| Did not compete||Fourth||Did not compete||Fourth|
|7||Andrian Mardare||5||Fifth||Did not compete||Did not compete||Eighth|
|8||Curtis Thompson||5||Eighth||Did not compete||Fifth||Did not compete|
Compared to the field at the World Championships in Budapest, Chopra has a relatively easier field in Eugene. Weber and former Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott have withdrawn from the Final. Replacing Weber and Walcott in the final are Andrian Mardare and Curtis Thompson.
In Weber’s absence, Vadlejch is Chopra’s biggest opponent in Eugene. Vadlejch is the only thrower to beat Chopra having bested him in Zurich. The Czech has the best throw this season, throwing 89.51m in June. Chopra’s season best, which is the second best this season, is 88.71m.
Grenada’s 2022 World Champion Anderson Peters has been in poor form this season but still poses a threat on his day.
The Diamond League Final will be broadcast live on Sports18 and live streamed on Jio Cinema.
The men’s javelin throw final will start at 12.50 am IST.