Neeraj Chopra warms up for Paris Olympics with gold at Paavo Nurmi Games, upstages Germany's Dehning with 85.97m throw - Hindustan Times

Neeraj Chopra warms up for Paris Olympics with gold at Paavo Nurmi Games, upstages Germany's Dehning with 85.97m throw

By | Written by Siddharth Thakur, New Delhi
Jun 18, 2024 10:52 PM IST

Neeraj Chopra warmed up for the Paris Olympics with a gold at Paavo Nurmi Games.

Before announcing his arrival in Finland on Tuesday, Neeraj Chopra recorded his only appearance at the Paavo Nurmi Games in 2022. The reigning Olympic and World Champion finished second with an impressive 89.30m throw at the time. Two years later, the Olympic and world champion javelin thrower resumed the Summer Games build-up with a stellar show at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku.

India's Neeraj Chopra in action(REUTERS)
India's Neeraj Chopra in action(REUTERS)

The lone Indian in the field was up against teenage sensation Max Dehning at the Paavo Nurmi Games. For the unversed, Dehning is the youngest member of the 90m club. Germany’s Dehning already bagged the world-leading throw in the 2024 season in the lead-up to his encounter with Neeraj at Paavo Nurmi Games. The 19-year-old started the competition with a below-par throw of 79.84m. The world leader was upstaged by Neeraj, who fired a throw of 83.62m.

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Neeraj takes early lead over Dehning

Leading the first round of the prestigious event, Neeraj failed to improve his bid for the top honour with an 83.45m throw. Dehning fouled his second throw before skipping his attempt in the third round. Cashing in on the opportunity, Neeraj unleashed a much-improved throw of 85.97m to take the lead.

At the top of the standings in the halfway stage, Neeraj wrapped up the fourth round with 82.21m, which turned out to be his worst throw of the competition. However, the Indian javelin superstar remained at the top of the standings.

Not pleased with his throw in the next round, Neeraj committed a foul while Finnish athlete Lassi Etelätalo produced the best throw of 79.35m. German Dehning obtained his second foul throw in the same round. Entering the final round with a lead, Neeraj produced a throw of 82.97m to retain his lead for a gold medal.

Watch: Neeraj secures Paavo Games gold with 85.97m throw

Taking home the gold medal for India with the tournament-winning throw of 85.97m, Neeraj was followed by Toni Keränen (84.19m) and Oliver Helander (83.96m) in the recently concluded event. World Champion Neeraj kickstarted his season with an 88.36m throw at the Doha Diamond League. The 26-year-old won gold at the Federation Cup with 82.27m before taking a precautionary break due to a strain in his adductor.

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