Neeraj Chopra, India’s superstar javelin thrower, made a spectacular return on Tuesday after his historic gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics. With a spectacular throw of 89.30m, he shattered his own national record and put himself second in a star-studded field at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland.
Chopra’s first competitive event in little over 10 months was nothing short of spectacular, with him nearly touching the 90m mark. The 24-year-old’s previous national record was 88.07m, which he set in Patiala last March. On August 7, 2021, he won gold in the Tokyo Olympics with a throw of 87.58m.
India’s current Sports Minister Anurag Thakur also appreciated Neeraj Chopra’s record-breaking throw. “Golden Great @Neeraj_chopra1 does it again! Neeraj Chopra threw 89.30 metres at Paavo Nurmi Games to create a new National Record! Absolutely THRILLED. You’ve got to see his throw!” he wrote in his congratulatory tweet.
Here is Anurag Thakur’s tweet
Golden Great @Neeraj_chopra1 does it again !
• Neeraj Chopra threw 89.30 metres at Paavo Nurmi Games to create a new National Record !
Absolutely THRILLED 😎
You’ve got to see his throw ! pic.twitter.com/wwKYLj9KU3
— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) June 14, 2022
In the meantime, Chopra started with an amazing 86.92m throw and then sent the javelin to 89.30m. His following three throws were all fouls, but his sixth and last throw was 85.85m. Oliver Helander, 25, of Finland, was the surprise gold winner with the best throw of 89.83m on his second try, having a personal best of 88.02m and a season’s best of 80.36m before this. Chopra’s 89.30m performance moves him up to fifth place on the global season leaderboard.
“I want to be consistent in these tournaments. I want to do my best and achieve the best possible results this year. I don’t know when and where it will happen. But I want to maintain my fitness and achieve the maximum. I am close to 90 metres, so, if that is achieved, I would really feel great about it. 90 metres is certainly a barrier which I would like to cross and feel happy. I also want to be in the elite club of 90m+ javelin throwers. I have trained hard and hoping for the best,” Chopra had earlier told NDTV sports.