Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will next compete in the World Athletics Championships in Budapest starting on August 19, without participating in any other meet after his exploits in the Diamond League in Lausanne.
The 25-year-old Chopra, who returned to action after a one-month injury lay-off, won his second consecutive Diamond League title in Switzerland on Friday with a throw of 87.66m. He had also won the season-opening Diamond League meet in Doha on May 5.
“The next competition, Budapest, will be a big one for me,” Chopra said in Lausanne after winning the men’s javelin throw event.
“I wanted to win so I’m super happy with the results but I also want to go back to training and fix some of the things that I noticed and those are going to make me stronger.”
He termed Lausanne as a lucky city for him.
“Lausanne always treats me well. Last year, I won and this year too, so I look forward to coming again next year and win again,” said Chopra, referring to the win last year, which was his maiden Diamond League title.
Chopra’s coach Dr Klaus Bartonietz confirmed to PTI that his ward will now head to the World Championships (August 19-27) in Budapest.
“Yes, Chopra meant to say World Championships,” Bartonietz said.
The men’s javelin throw qualification round of the Budapest World Championships is scheduled for August 25, which is more than 50 days from now. This would mean that Chopra will be going to the World Championships after taking part in just two top competitions — Doha and Lausanne legs of Diamond League.
A top official of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) said that Chopra has fully recovered from the muscle strain he had sustained last month, which led him to skip three top events — all World Athletics Continental Tour gold label competitions.
“He is fully fit. I think he will not compete (before World Championships). Maybe, he wants to concentrate more on World Championships,” the official said.
Chopra had won a silver in the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, USA, last year behind Anderson Peters of Grenada and he would be aiming for a gold this time.
The Indian superstar, who has a personal best of 89.94m, will miss the July 21 Monaco leg of the Diamond League where javelin throw will be in the roster.
But, since he has cemented his top spot in the Diamond League standings with 16 points after winning Lausanne leg on Friday, there should not be any problem in qualifying for the grand finale on September 16-17 in Eugene, United States where the top eight will compete for the coveted trophy.
Just after the World Championships, there is the Zurich leg of the Diamond League on August 31 where Chopra can compete.
He is the reigning Diamond League champion, having won the trophy in the 2022 grand finale in Zurich in September last.
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