“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy”… This could be common symptoms for a javelin thrower who hasn’t flung his weapon in 10 months or so. But not for Neeraj Chopra, who obliterated his own national record at Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland with an 89.30m throw.

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In what was his first competitive appearance since Olympics 2022, Neeraj surpassed his national record of 88.07m, which he achieved last year in Patiala. His effort at Paavo Nurmi took him to the fifth position in the leader’s list for 2022.

He missed out on a gold medal by 0.53m, losing to the local lad Oliver Helander, who recorded his personal best of 89.83m throw in front of his home crowd. Anderson Peters, the current world champion from Greece, finished third with an 86.60m throw.

Chopra started with an 86.92m throw before nearly touching the hallowed 90m mark in his second attempt. However, his next three throws were deemed illegal, and his final attempt traversed only 85.85m.

Ahead of this tournament, Neeraj Chopra said that instead of directly aiming to breach the hallowed 90m mark, he wants to ease into the competition mode and scale gradually.

Having not played a competitive event in almost a year, Chopra’s performance was nothing short of extraordinary. His next stop will be at Eugene in the USA, where he will be competing at the World Championships.

“I don’t have to hit 90m straightway, 86 or 87m at the start of the season will be more than enough. It is also my dream to cross 90m and will try to do that this year in some competition,” he said last month.

Featured Image Credit: Olympics