World champion Neeraj Chopra had an 85.71m throw on his final attempt to finish second at the Zurich Diamond League on Thursday. This is the first time the 25-year-old came second in any competition this season. Neeraj began with an 80.79m throw. Czech Republic's Jakub Vadlejch and Germany's Julian Weber rushed to the top. Chopra made a comeback and made a spot into the top three from the fifth spot and avoided a maiden finish outside the top three since May 2018.
The result ended Chopra's winning streak this season. He won the Doha and Laussane legs of the Diamond League before clinching gold in Budapest. Former world champion Anderson Peters threw 78.78m while Czech Republic's Jakub Vadlejch, who took bronze in Budapest, and Germany's Julian Weber fouled their opening attempts. At the end of the first series, Lithuania's Edis Matusevicius took the lead with 81.62m.
Neeraj Chopra fouled his next two attempts and declined to the fifth spot. He soon found his groove in the fourth series when he got his first decent throw in, an 85.22m effort that placed him second, leapfrogging Weber and Finland's Oliver Helander and only behind Vadlejch's 85.86m. In fact, the fourth series had Vadlejch, Chopra, and Weber all recorded their best throws of the match till that point.
Neeraj came up with an 85.71m throw on the last try to ensure he ended second. His effort was just 0.15m short of Vadlejch's leading mark.
'I am 100 percent OK, but I did not push too much,' said Neeraj "I feel very good now because everyone is a little tired after the World Championships. We gave our 100 percent there, but for this competition here my focus was to just stay healthy, and we have to focus now for Eugene (Diamond League Final) and then the Asian Games," he added.
"For me, the focus was just to stay healthy and to give my 100 percent in my next competitions. Sometimes we need to read our body. Today, I feel OK, I am 100 percent OK, but I did not push too much. Sometimes, our No. 1 goal is to stay healthy. Today I gave it my best, but still with the focus to stay healthy," the Indian ace concluded.