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Neeraj Chopra finishes 2nd in Stockholm Diamond League

Chopra opened with a stunning throw of 89.94m, just 6cm shy of the 90m mark

PTI07_01_2022_000002B Neeraj Chopra reacts after setting a new national record and his personal best with a throw of 89.94 mts at the Stockholm Diamond League. PTI

Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra clinched his first top-3 finish at the prestigious Diamond League Meeting with a national record-shattering effort but missed the 90m mark by a whisker in a star-studded field in Stockholmon Thursday.

The 24-year-old Chopra opened with a stunning throw of 89.94m, just 6cm shy of the 90m mark, the gold standard in the world of javelin throw and that effort eventually turned out to be his best as he finished second.

His other throws measured 84.37m, 87.46m, 84.77m, 86.67 and 86.84m. He bettered his earlier national record of 89.30m, which his spear had travelled while finishing second in the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland, on June 14.

World champion and season leader Anderson Peters of Grenada won the competition with a best throw of 90.31m which he came up with in this third attempt.

"Today, I feel good and after first throw, I thought I could throw even over 90m today. But it is OK as I have more competitions coming this year," Chopra said after the event.

"I am close to 90m now and I can throw it this year. Despite the fact that I did not win tonight, I feel very good because I did my best."

Peters has thrown 90m-plus twice this season -- 93.07m while winning the Doha leg of the Diamond League last month before 90.75m effort at Hengelo in the Netherlands.

Julian Weber of Germany was third with a fifth round throw of 89.08m while Tokyo Olympic silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch (88.59m) of Czech Republic was fourth.

Another Czech athlete and Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Vitezslav Vesely was seventh in the eight-man field with 82.57m.

Chopra has beaten Peters twice this month -- in Turku where the athlete from Grenada was third and in the Kuortane Games, also in Finalnd, where the Indian superstar had won gold with a best throw of 86.69m under wet and slippery conditions.

Chopra's first throw had raised hopes of him scripting history of becoming the first Indian to win a Diamond League event. Nonetheless, he became the second Indian to finish in top-three in a Diamond League competition after discus thrower Vikas Gowda.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Gowda, who retired in 2017, had finished in top-three in a Diamond League event four times in his career. He had finished second in 2012 (New York) and 2014 (Doha) and third in Shanghai and Eugene in 2015.

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