India’s leading javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra won the gold medal with a throw of 83.18m at the Meeting Cidade de Lisboa tournament, which was held here on Thursday. The 23-year-old Chopra’s best throw was 83.18m among five Portuguese contestants, which proved to be a gold medal. Chopra measured this distance in the sixth and final attempt. None of the Portuguese contestants could cross the 80 meter mark.
The conditions were windy and Chopra – the Asian Games champion, who set a national record with an 88.07m throw in the Indian Grand Prix in Patiala in March – had a foul-ridden series, messing up three of his six rounds. His best came in the last round. He opened with an 80.71 and his other legal throw was 78.50 in the fourth. Chopra’s opening throw was 80.71m while his second and third attempts were no throws. He failed to find a good pace in the fourth and could only record a throw of 78.50m. His fifth attempt was also a no throw while his last and sixth throw was 83.18m.
Leandro Ramos of Portugal came second with a throw of 72.46m and Francisco Fernandes of Portugal came third with a throw of 57.25m.
Chopra clocked the season’s best distance of 88.07 meters in March in Patiala. Chopra has landed at an event after 18 months via Lisbon.
In January 2020, he competed in the South African domestic competition in Potchefstroom, surpassing the Tokyo Olympic qualification standard of 85 meters by recording a throw of 87.86 metres. After this, he could not compete at the international level due to the pandemic.
Last week he got a visa to go to France and then went to compete in Portugal.