Neeraj Chopra has continued his impressive comeback, once again creating a new National Record on his way to his finishing second in Stockholm at the Diamond League, late on Thursday night.
Chopra opened with a stunning throw of 89.94m, just 6 cm shy of the 90m mark- the gold standard in the world of javelin and that effort eventually turned out to be his best of the night.
His other throws measured 84.37m, 87.46m, 84.77m, 86.67 and 86.84m.
"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," he added.
Reigning world champion Anderson Peters of Ghana bagged the gold with a throw of 90.31m while Neeraj won the silver. Julian Weber of Germany finished third with a fifth round throw of 89.08m while Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch (88.59m) of Czech Republic was fourth.
Since making his comeback in June, the 24-year-old had won two medals in his two outings thus far this season. He finished second in the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku where he broke the national record for the first time this year, with a throw of 89.30m. At the Kuortane Games Neeraj's best effort of 86.60m, in rainy conditions, won him a gold.
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.
Chopra was making his first Diamond League appearance in four years after his fourth-place finish in Zurich in August 2018. He has taken part in seven Diamond League meets -- three in 2017 and four in 2018.
The prestigious one-day meet at the Swedish capital is Chopra's biggest event ahead of the World Championships in Eugene, USA, from July 15-24.
The next Diamond League Meeting where javelin throw is in the programme is in Monaco on August 10.
It could not be confirmed whether Chopra will take part in it as it will happen just a few days after the Birmingham CWG (July 28 to August 8) where he will be defending his title.
Germany's Johannes Vetter, who has the maximum number of 90-plus throws among the active throwers, continued to be on the sidelines. He is not fully fit and had also missed the German nationals.
(With inputs from PTI)
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