Neeraj goes down in a thriller, Jena starts with a poor season opener

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It was that day of the week where the Wonder Kid was back on track, and joining him was the new Javelin star Kishore Jena.

Starting the season this year at Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium inside the Qatar Sports Club for the Doha Diamond League 2024, both Neeraj and Kishore were facing tough competition from the likes of Jakub Vadlejch, Peters Anderson and Oliver Helander.

And with all the chatters around the 90-meter mark, the buzz around the event was high, with Neeraj also hoping to touch that prestigious mark and end all the chatters around it for good.

How the event transpired

Neeraj started off with his first throw with a cross to his name, a No throw, while Jakub Vadlejch starts on a high with a throw of 85.87m and Jena with a poor throw of 75.72m.

But Neeraj makes a strong comeback with an 84.93-meter second throw, moving him directly to second place, just behind Jakub. While Jena’s poor day continues with a no-throw in his second attempt. But Neeraj couldn’t hold the second position for long as Peters Anderson threw an 85.75m in his second attempt after his 80.68m in his first. On the other hand, Jakub extended his lead with a huge 86.93-meter-second throw.

Neeraj fixed his mistake on his third attempt and jumped to second place with a great throw of 86.24m, coming close to Jakub’s mark of 86.93m. But Jakub was in no mood to slow down, as he again improved his mark in his third attempt with a huge throw of 88.38m.

Kishore’s no-improvement throw of 76.31m in his third attempt placed him 9th out of 10 competitors. His horrible day continues. While Peters had a no-throw.

As per the rules, after three attempts, two competitors get eliminated, and the rest will get two more throws, after which the top three will get one more chance to have a crack at the top spot.

So that means Jena gets eliminated after three attempts, finishing at 9th. There is a lot to ponder for him. Let’s see if he makes a good comeback at the upcoming Federation Cup in Bhubaneswar, where he will participate starting
from May 12.

Neeraj, on the other hand, maintained his consistency with a throw of 86.18m in his fourth attempt, while Jakub and Peters had a throw of 84.04m and 82.89m, respectively.

On his fifth attempt, Neeraj lands an 82.28m, Jakub has a no throw, and Peters ended his fifth attempt with an 85.08m throw. The top three after five attempts:

1st: Jakub Vadlejch, 88.38m
2nd: Neeraj Chopra, 86.24 m
3rd: Anderson Peters, 85.75m
All three got one more attempt to claim the top spot.

The final round starts off with the leader, Jakub, who had a no-throw in his last attempt.

In his final attempt, Neeraj gave it all and registered an 88.36m throw, just 0.02m shy of Vadlejch’s mark. Talk about margins.
It was as close as one can expect in a thrilling contest.

Peter’s final attempt ended with 86.62m, confirming Neeraj’s second place. It was against the same Vadlejch against whom Neeraj finished second in the previous season of the Diamond League as well.

Though it was not the result that everyone was expecting, a season opener of 88.36m is a great start to the season.
With Neeraj returning to India and taking part in the Federation Cup along with Jena and other top javelin throwers from India. Here’s hoping that he improves on his season opener, touches the exclusive 90-meter mark there, and can have peace of mind before the Olympics.

Written by Naman

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