Neeraj Chopra wins maiden gold at Paavo Nurmi Games 2024

Tokyo Olympics and world champion, India’s Neeraj Chopra on Tuesday, June 19 clinched his maiden gold at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland. The 26-year-old, who returned to competitive action after a month-long precautionary break to deal with an adductor issue, surpassed the challenge in Finland.

The javelin thrower led the eight-man field comprising of the likes of two-time champion Anderson Peters, young prodigy Max Dehning and home favourite Oliver Helander for most of the event on Tuesday. Chopra, who had clinched a silver in 2022, produced his best with a 85.97m throw which came in his third attempt. 

Although the Indian athlete relinquished the top spot briefly into the event, but surpassed his fellow throwers, especially the 19-year-old German Max Dehning, who recently joined the 90m club by being the youngest. Speaking of Dehning, he failed to breach the 80m mark on Tuesday with his best effort coming of 79.84m.

With Neeraj taking the top spot, home favourite Toni Keranen claimed a silver with his personal best throw of 84.19m, while 2022 gold-medallist Oliver Helander finished at third place with 83.96m.

The Paavo Nurmi Games 2024 was Chopra’s third event of the year after the Doha Diamond League and the Federation Cup, where he claimed a silver and a gold respectively. The ‘Golden Boy’ of India, Neeraj Chopra will next be seen in action at the Paris Diamond League on July 7 ahead of the 2024 Olympics. Furthermore, the 26-year-old has opted out of the National Inter-State Athletics in Panchkula, set to take place on June 27.

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