Doha, May 5: India’s javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra improved his national record mark with a throw of 87.43 metres to finish fourth in the season-opening leg of the IAAF Diamond League here on Friday.
Former world junior champion Neeraj, who won the gold in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April, came up with his second attempt to cross the previously owned national record mark of 86.48 metres. The 20-year-old’s first attempt was 81.17 but he delivered his season’s best in the second attempt. His season’s best was 86.47 which he threw at the Gold Coast event. However, Neeraj failed to overcome three Germans who swept the podium places at the Qatar Sport Club. Olympic champion Thomas Rohler clinched the gold medal with an effort of 91.78 metres — his season’s best. “Today was great, but it wasn’t easy. There’s always room for improvement. My teammates and I travel together and train together, which motivates me always,” Rohler was quoted as saying by the tournament’s official website. “I’ve been preparing and knew I could throw that far. I was even able to take some risks today, and know that I’m in good physical shape.”
World champion Johannes Vetter claimed the second spot with a throw of 91.56 metres and and Andreas Hoffman delivered his season’s best of 90.08 metres to deny Neeraj from a place on the podium. Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch was fifth with an effort of 86.67. IANS