TURKU, Finland — Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra will open his season this week when he lines up against a super field assembled for the men’s Javelin throw competition at the Paavo Nurmi Games 2022, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in Turku, Finland on Tuesday (14).
Chopra, who became India’s first-ever Olympic champion in athletics in Tokyo last summer, hasn’t made a competitive appearance since winning the gold medal at the delayed Games on 7 August. Read more: Neeraj Chopra an instant national icon for India after javelin Olympic gold
He arrived in Turku over the weekend in a buzz and appeared to be in good shape, despite the slightly delayed start to his 2022 season, as he prepares to launch his campaign for back-to-back global titles this summer.
Chopra found his best form of the season in Tokyo last year to produce a mark of 87.58m to win the gold medal against a very strong field, five years after setting the world junior record in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
The 24-year-old opened his 2021 term with a personal best and ntional record of 88.07m in his first competition of the year, which came some 14 months after his last competitive appearance in 2020 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
This shows that Chopra could very well be ready for battle this week, but he may need to improve on his lifetime best to win the competition at the Paavo Nurmi Games 2022, given the exciting form shown by his immediate rivals thus far in the event.
Anderson Peters leads strong field against Chopra
The 2022 world list is led by world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada who produced a national record of 93.07m in Doha, on 13 May and he leads a very confident field that is ready to do something special in what has been described as the “javelin-mad country of Finland.”
Jakub Vadlejch (90.88) of the Czech Republic, Germany’s Julian Weber (89.65) and Keshorn Walcott (89.07) of Trinidad and Tobago, the 2012 Olympic champion, have also thrown further than Chopra’s PB this season.
All four men will be competing at the Paavo Nurmi Games 2022 and will be joined by Germany’s Andreas Hoffman, who owns a PB of 92.06m.
PHOTO: Paavo Nurmi Games
For more information about this year’s meet click here