Neeraj Chopra targets 2023 Diamond League hat-trick, Sreeshankar seeks redemption

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Neeraj Chopra aims to extend winning streak at Zurich Diamond League 2023, while Murali Sreeshankar seeks improved performance to stay in contention for the Diamond League final.

Neeraj Chopra creates history, wins gold at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest. (Photo: Reuters)

Neeraj Chopra, the newly-crowned world champion in men’s javelin, is set to compete in the Zurich Diamond League just four days after his historic gold medal win in Budapest. With the goal of completing a hat-trick of Diamond League wins and qualifying for the Diamond League final in Eugene on September 16 and 17, Neeraj aims to maintain his winning streak in a highly competitive 10-man javelin field in Zurich on August 31.

Having already achieved remarkable feats for India by winning gold in the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, Olympics, and world championships, as well as the Diamond Trophy, Neeraj stands as a true champion. In fact, he joins the esteemed company of only two other javelin throwers, Jan Zelezny and Andreas Thorkildsen, to simultaneously hold the Olympic and world titles.

Neeraj has his sights set on the elusive 90m mark, expressing his intention to breach this distance once again. Although he exercised caution due to a groin injury throughout the season, Neeraj now aims to push for the big throw, having already secured the gold medal at the World Championships.

In the Diamond League standings for men in 2023, Neeraj currently holds the third spot with 16 points, having emerged victorious in the Doha Diamond League in May and the Lausanne Diamond League in June. His place in the 6-man Diamond League final is already guaranteed. However, he faces tough competition from Jakub Vadlejch, the Diamond League leader with 21 points, and Julian Weber, the second-placed thrower this season.

Meanwhile, Murali Sreeshankar, who finished third in a Diamond League meeting in Paris earlier this year, seeks redemption in the men’s long jump event in Zurich. Although he faced disappointment at the World Championships, Sreeshankar aims to put that behind him and perform well in Zurich alongside a world-class field that includes newly-crowned world champion Tentoglou Miltiadis and Jamaican athletes Carey McLeod and Tajay Gayle.

Sreeshankar currently holds the third spot in the men’s long jump Diamond League table, with 10 points earned from his third-place finish in Paris and fifth-place finish in Lausanne. Tentoglou leads the charts with 21 points from three meetings. It is worth noting that the top six athletes in track events will qualify for the prestigious Diamond League final.

The men’s javelin event in the Zurich Diamond League will commence at 12:12 am IST on September 1, while the men’s long jump event will start at 11:54 pm IST on August 31.

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Toshika Chauhan

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