Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra bags gold at Paavo Nurmi Games

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TURKU (Finland): India’s Neeraj Chopra won the gold medal in the men’s javelin throw competition at the Paavo Nurmi Games 2024 athletics meet in Turku, Finland on Tuesday.

The Indian javelin ace, whose personal best of 89.94m is the Indian men’s national record, logged his best throw of the night, a modest 85.97m in his third attempt to clinch the top podium.

Finland’s Toni Keranen won the silver medal with a personal best of 84.19m throw while his compatriot Oliver Helander, who had denied Neeraj the gold at the meet two years ago, took the bronze with 83.96m.

Two-time world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada was fourth with 82.58m.

Neeraj Chopra, the reigning world and Olympic champion, was competing in his third event of the year.

On the road to defend his crown at the Paris 2024 Olympics later this year, Neeraj started his season with a second-place finish at the Doha Diamond League on May 10 with an 88.36m throw.

He then logged a modest 82.27m to bag the gold medal at the Federation Cup in Bhubaneswar five days later. It was his first competition in India since becoming an Olympic champion.

Neeraj was also scheduled to compete at the Ostrava Golden Spike athletics meet in Czechia late last month but did not participate as a precautionary measure after a muscle tweak during a training session.

Neeraj Chopra’s throws at Paavo Nurmi Games 2024: 1. 83.62m; 2. 83.45m, 3. 85.97m; 4. 82.21m; 5. X; 6. 82.97m

Returning to action at the Turku meet, the Tokyo 2020 gold medallist began proceedings with an 83.62m mark with his first throw to lead the first series but was knocked off his perch by Helander in the next round.

An 85.97m throw in the third series saw the Indian ace regain his lead and stay on top till the end.

Germany’s 19-year-old Max Dehning, the youngest javelin thrower to breach the 90m mark, finished seventh in the eight-man field with 79.84m.
Dehning had recorded a world-leading 90.20m throw at a meet in Halle in February.

London 2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago produced a season’s best 81.93m to finish sixth in Turku. (ANI)

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