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A lookback at Neeraj Chopra's win at Doha Diamond League 2023

Published at :May 10, 2024 at 7:25 PM
Modified at :May 10, 2024 at 7:26 PM
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Abhiruchi Rout

Neeraj Chopra bagged the top position at Doha to start his 2023 season.

The reigning Olympic and world champion Neeraj Chopra had a great run in the year 2023. In his quest to defend his Diamond League title, which he won in 2022, Chopra kicked off his 2023 season by participating in the Doha Diamond League, one of the 14 meetings of the prestigious competition, on May 5, 2023, at Suheim bin Hamad Stadium.

Chopra showed a glimpse of the extraordinary season ahead as he began his campaign with a sensational throw of 88.67m on his first attempt in Doha. The Indian displayed no signs of rustiness despite competing in his first meeting of the season.

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He surpassed the 85.00m mark consistently throughout the event as his second, third, and sixth attempts recorded marks of 86.04m, 85.47m, and 86.52m, respectively. However, he fell slightly short of the 85.00 mark on his fifth try with an 84.37m. Chopra’s fourth throw was a foul.

With this performance, he bagged the top position and won eight qualification points from the first Diamond League leg of 2023. In Doha, he also finished ahead of Olympic medalist Jakub Vadlejch from the Czech Republic (88.63m) and Grenada’s Anderson Peters (85.88m), the two-time world champion in 2019 and 2022.

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This marked the perfect beginning for Neeraj Chopra to his 2023 season as he finished within the top two in all the events he participated in after the Doha Diamond League 2023.

At the Diamond League Finals 2023, Chopra lost against Vadlejch in the finals held in Eugene, as Vadlejch clinched the title with a throw of 84.24m, with Chopra achieving an 83.80m to settle for second place. Despite not being able to defend his Diamond League title in 2023, the Indian athletics star enjoyed an impressive year, becoming the World and Asian Games champion.

On August 27, he scripted history by winning the first track and field gold medal for the nation in the history of the World Athletics Championships with a best throw of 88.17m. The previous year, he had become only the second Indian to win a medal in the tournament’s history, after Anju Bobby George won bronze in the long jump in 2003, bagging a silver medal with an 88.13m throw.

A month later, Chopra added another achievement to his long list of accomplishments in 2023 by defending his Asian Games title in the postponed edition of the Games held in Hangzhou, China. He clinched the gold medal with another 88+ throw as he registered an 88.88m mark at the event on October 4, 2023. There, he finished above compatriot Kishore Jena, who came up with a personal best of 87.54s, to win the silver medal.

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He also won the Athletissima Lausanne, and finished second at the Weltklasse Zürich, both Diamond League legs, with best marks of 87.66m and 85.71m in 2023.

In 2024, the 26-year-old Chopra will be looking to defend his Olympics and win his second Diamond League title as he aims for an impressive outing at the Doha Diamond League 2024. Like the previous year, he will be opening his season in Doha. Following this, Neeraj will next be in action at the Federation Cup 2024, his first tournament on home soil since 2021, scheduled between May 12 to 15, 2024 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha.

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