Star Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra added another feather to his storied cap on Tuesday, setting a new national record with a throw of 89.30 metres at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland.
It was Neeraj's first competitive event since winning a historic gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Neeraj's record-breaking throw helped him finish second in the competition. Oliver Helander, the event's local favourite, topped the list with a throw of 89.83 metres.
"I am pleased with my performance. It was my first event of the season, so I am happy to have started the season on a high note. My performance here has boosted my confidence significantly," Neeraj said when asked about his performance.
"Going forward I am looking to work on my technique, throw, and overall performance. I am in a happy place at the moment and I just want to do well in the upcoming events," the golden boy of India continued.
Neeraj's previous national record was 88.07m, which he set in March in Patiala last year. A few months later, on August 7, 2021, Neeraj went on to become the first Indian player to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics with a throw of 87.58m. After Abhinav Bindra, he is only the second Indian player to win an individual gold medal in the Summer Games.
In his first attempt, Neeraj reached 86.92m before propelling the spear to 89.30m in his second attempt. The 24-year-old's next three tries were all fouls. In his sixth and last throw, he threw his spear 85.85 metres.
Neeraj's best effort of 89.30m in the tournament also helped him to reach the fifth spot on the world season leaders' list.
Meanwhile, reigning world champion Anderson Peters finished third with a throw of 86.60m. The Paavo Nurmi Games, a gold event in the World Athletics Continental Tour, is one of the biggest track-and-field competitions outside the Diamond League.