Olympic javelin throw gold medalist Neeraj Chopra, who had been out of action for a month due to injury, sent a message to his rivals ahead of the upcoming athletics World Championships in Budapest by winning back-to-back Diamond League events with a strong throw of 87.66 metres in Lausanne.
Neeraj, who was making a return to the javelin field after recovering from a muscle strain, came up with his best throw in his fifth attempt to pip Germany’s Julian Webber to the post. Webber finished second with an effort of 87. 03m. Jakub Vadlejch from the Czech Republic secured third place after throwing his spear to a distance of 86.13m.
The current Asian Games and CWG champion was scheduled to compete at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland and the FBK Games in Hengelo last month. However, the 24-year-old underwent rehabilitation for his injury, initially in Doha and then in Switzerland’s Magglingen, to overcome the strain. He had won the season-opening Diamond League meet in Doha on May 5 with an equally sensational effort of 88. 67m. His personal best stands at 89. 94m.
Neeraj's campaign in Lausanne began with a foul, then he made throws of 83. 52 metres and 85. 04 metres. He produced his winning throw of 87. 66 metres after committing another foul in the fourth round. He managed 84. 15m on his sixth and final throw.
“Lausanne always treats me well. I won here last year too, so I look forward to coming again next year and winning,” said Neeraj, referring to his maiden Diamond League title win here last year.
After his win, Neeraj hinted that he would go straight to the Worlds in Budapest, scheduled from August 19 to 27, without participating in any other events in Europe and elsewhere. The men’s javelin throw qualification round will take place on August 25.