Eugene (US): Reigning Olympic and world champion Neeraj Chopra finishes second in the javelin throw event at the Diamond League 2023 Final with a best effort of 83.80m.
Neeraj made history last year as he became the first Indian to win a Diamond League Trophy. However, he was unable to keep the title at Hayward Field late on Saturday night.
Jakub Vadlejch from the Czech Republic, a former Diamond League champion in 2016 and 2017, bagged his third championship with an impressive throw of 84.24 meters.
The 25-year-old, who holds the Indian national record of 89.94m, won a world championship silver medal at the same venue last year with an 88.13m effort.
Neeraj began with a foul on his first attempt. He got off the mark with an 83.80m mark with his second throw and jumped to the second spot behind Vadlejch, who started with an 84.01m effort.
An 81.37m throw on the third attempt followed by another foul from Neeraj allowed Vadlejch to keep the lead despite the latter managing just one legal throw from the first four attempts.
Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Vadlejch logged his best mark of the night with the final attempt to defeat Neeraj Chopra for the second time this year. Vadlejch had also beaten Neeraj Chopra at the Zurich Diamond League last month.
On the way to the final, Neeraj emerged victorious in the Doha and Lausanne leg of the 2023 Diamond League series, but had to settle for second place in Zurich.
He obtained 23 points from three meetings, thereby qualifying for the Diamond League Final. However, Jakub Vadlejch, who participated in all four qualifying events, topped the leaderboard with 29 points.
The Diamond League Final marked Neeraj’s second to last competition of the season before defending his title at the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou later this month.