India’s Neeraj Chopra yet again broke his own national record in javelin throw with a personal best throw in the IAAF Diamond League event in Doha on Friday. He finished fourth in the event behind three German athletes who all threw 90+ on the night.
In his first attempt, Chopra started with a throw of 81.17 m which put him in the third position, with world champion Johannes Vetter setting the early pace with 91.56 m.
Given the strength of the field, Chopra needed a big throw to keep pace and he responded in some style in his second attempt with 87.43 m, yet again breaking his personal best and creating a new national record.
Chopra’s earlier record was 86.48 m – while he got his previous season best for 86.47 m for the Commonwealth Games gold medal.
While Chopra was setting his best, the Germans were busy showing they were in a different class. Olympic champion Thomas Rohler improved his first attempt by more than 10 metres to jump into the lead while Andreas Hoffman also threw 90-plus to make it a Germany 1-2-3 halfway through the event.
Chopra followed up his record throw with three fouls in a row. Trying too hard perhaps to break the 90m barrier that he has been eyeing, Chopra ended with a 81.06 m throw. Eventually, it was an unprecedented podium-dominating effort by the German athletes that meant Chopra finished a creditable fourth. This was, incidentally, the first time two athletes had thrown 91.50+ in one event.
As it turned out, Chopra couldn’t finish on the podium but it was most definitely another night to remember for the youngster.