The 24-year-old Chopra slipped after his third attempt at Kuortane on Saturday. Conditions were treacherous for a javelin throw with a wet and slippery run-up from rain. He lost his balance after releasing the spear on his third attempt and made a nasty fall where his left shoulder hit the turf.
Chopra won the competition with his opening throw – his only legal attempt – of 86.69 m. He took just three tries, as did second and third place – the 2012 Olympic champion of Trinidad and Tobago Keshorn Walcott (86.64m) and reigning world champion Anderson Peters (84.75 m) from Grenada.
“Tough conditions with the weather but happy with my first win of the season here at Kuortane,” Chopra wrote in an Instagram post.
“I’m feeling great and looking forward to starting my Diamond League season at @bauhausgalan (Stockholm Diamond League) on the 30th.”
His throw wasn’t quite as great as the 89.30m effort as he finished second in the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland, in a star-studded field on Tuesday, but the win is sure to boost his confidence for the Stockholm Diamond league.
Athletic Federation of India (AFI) also said that “all is well” with Chopra.
“News from Kuortane: All well with @Neeraj_chopra1 after that bad slip on his third attempt. No problem. Well done #NeerajChopra, congratulations on another top performance,” the AFI tweeted.
News from Kuortane: All well with @Neeraj_chopra1 after that bad slip on his third attempt. Nothing to worry about Well… https://t.co/61iZRBjZdN
— Athletics Federation of India (@afiindia) 1655571266000
Peters, who was beaten twice by Chopra in four days, is leading the charts this season with his monster throw of 93.07m while winning gold in the Doha Diamond League last month. Chopra’s effort of 89.30m in Turku ranks fifth this season.
Chopra made a spectacular return to competition after taking his historic gold at the Tokyo Olympics with a stunning 89.30m throw, shattering his own national record, taking second at the Paavo Nurmi Games.
Chopra’s first competitive event after just over 10 months was nothing short of extraordinary as he nearly reached the coveted 90m, considered the gold standard in the world of javelin throwing.
His previous national record was 88.07m, which he set in Patiala last March. He had won gold at the Tokyo Olympics on August 7, 2021 with a throw of 87.58 meters.