Neeraj Chopra’s homecoming: Ahead of Paris 2024, the reigning world champion bags gold at Federation Cup


It was a mere 82.27m effort that won Neeraj Chopra the gold medal at the Federation Cup 2024 athletics meet as he continued his road to the Paris Olympics.

While the Tokyo Olympics gold medalist and the reigning javelin throw world champion started the competition as the favorite, he wasn’t in the lead for the first three rounds as DP Manu stayed upfront with a 82.06m throw. It was in the fourth round that Neeraj took the pole position while Manu finished with a silver.  Uttam Balasaheb Patil bagged the bronze medal with a 75.49m attempt.

For Neeraj, it was his first outing at the Federation Cup since 2021, when he had clinched a gold with a throw of 87.80m.

“It was nice to compete in India after so long. Thanks to all the fans who came out to support us today,” Neeraj said afterwards.

The 26-year-old had arrived in Bhubaneswar on the back of a second-placed finish at the Doha Diamond League. An impressive throw of 88.36m – just 2cm short of Jakub Vadlejch – earned the Indian a silver to kickstart the javelin season.

Festive offer

With the Paris Olympics in the view, Neeraj admitted that he wanted to break the elusive 90m mark this year.

“People have been asking me this question since 2018 when I threw 88.06 at the Asian Games,” Neeraj said in Doha. “A lot of things happened after that, my elbow injury, the surgery and now I have been stuck between 88 and 90m.

“But I really want to break the barrier this year. Even last year, I had said that Doha is famous for 90m. But, we were not lucky due to too much headwind. Maybe tomorrow we’ll have a good day. Obviously, it is the Olympics year and India is a big country and everyone expects gold always. My focus is to just stay healthy and concentrate on my technique. And yes, if I stay healthy everything will be good.”

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