Neeraj Chopra, an Olympic-bound Indian javelin thrower, won an event in Lisbon, Portugal on Thursday with a best performance of 83.18m in his first international competition in over a year. Chopra won the javelin event at the Meeting Cidade de Lisboa after throwing the spear 83.18 meters in his sixth and final throw.
His second, third, and fifth throws were all fouls, but he threw 78.50 meters on his fourth attempt at the Lisbon University Stadium in windy circumstances.
The 23-year-old Indian, who has not competed in an international event since qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in South Africa in January of last year, arrived in Lisbon on Sunday. The reigning Asian and Commonwealth Games champion, who has a personal best of 88.07m, was scheduled to go to Europe on Monday for a training and competition stay, but his trip was postponed owing to visa concerns.
During an interview a few weeks back, he mentioned how his Olympic preparation was being hampered by a lack of competition. Chopra had set a new national record with an 88.07m throw during the Indian Grand Prix 3 in Patiala in March.
He qualified for the Olympics with a throw of 87.86 meters, above the qualifying mark of 85 meters, at a competition in Potchefstroom, South Africa, in January of last year. After that, he had a brief training stay in Turkey before returning home in March of last year, just before the COVID-19 outbreak enforced a lockdown.