Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra today left for Zurich, hours after clinching a historic gold in the Asian Games here, to take part in the prestigious Diamond League Final on August 30.
The 20-year-old Chopra easily clinched the gold medal in men’s javelin throw yesterday with a national record throw of 88.06m, the sixth best in the world this season.
It was complete domination by Chopra in Jakarta but in the Diamond League Final, he will face the world’s best in the event, including Olympic champion Thomas Roehler of Germany and last year’s winner, Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic.
“Yes, he has left Jakarta for Zurich to take part in the Diamond League Final. He has to leave hours after winning the gold (in Asian Games),” an official from the Indian team told PTI.
The eight-man field in Zurich will have two competitors — Roehler (91.78m) and his German compatriot Andreas Hofmann (92.06m) — who have thrown above the magic mark of 90m this season.
Last year’s Diamond League final winner Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic has a season’s best of 89.02m.
Going by the season’s best, Chopra is fifth among the eight competitors but he qualified as sixth best in terms of points. He has a total of 12 points after taking part in three Diamond League Series legs. He finished fourth in Doha, sixth in Eugene and fifth in Rabat. He missed the Birmingham leg on August 18 due to the Asian Games.
The points were accumulated over the 14-leg Diamond League Series in a season. The top eight finishers in each leg gets prize money. The eight-place finisher gets USD 1000 while the winner pockets USD 10,000.
For the Diamond League Final in Zurich, the prize money has been enhanced with the eight-place finisher getting USD 2,000 and the winner pocketing USD 50,000.
Chopra will also compete in the IAAF Continental Cup to be held in Ostrava, Czech Republic from September 8-9. Muhammed Anas (400m), Jinson Johnson (800m), Arpinder Singh (Triple Jump), Hima Das (400m), P U Chitra (1500m) and Sudha Singh (3000m Steeplechase) are the other Indians taking part as members of Asia-Pacific team.