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Neeraj Chopra throws 83.18m in Lisbon in its first international event in more than a year

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Image source: PTI

Neeraj threw 83.18m in Lisbon in its first international event in more than a year

Indian Olympic-related javelin thrower Neraj Chopra made the best effort of 83.18m to win an event in Lisbon, Portugal on Thursday in his first international race in more than a year.

After starting with 80.71m, Chopra sent the spear to 83.18m in his sixth and final throw to win the race with a replica of the Meeting Cidade de Lisboa (Lisbon City).

His second, third and fifth throws were fouls as he recorded 78.50m in his fourth windy effort at the University of Lisbon stadium.

Second-place finisher Francisco Fernandez, a local runner, was second with the best throw of 57.25m in a six-man race.

The 23-year-old Indian, who has not participated in any international events since qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in January last year in South Africa, had reached Lisbon on Sunday.

The reigning Asian and British Commonwealth champion, who has a personal best of 88.07 million, was due to leave for Europe on Monday for a final practice match, but was delayed by several days due to visa problems.

He had talked about the lack of competition that hindered his Olympic accumulation during the interaction a few weeks ago.

Chopra had broken his own national record by throwing 88.07m in the Patia at the Indian Grand Prix 3 in March.

He qualified for the Olympics with a throw of 87.86m, which improved his 85m qualification, at an event in Potchefstroom, South Africa, in January last year.

He then had a short training career in Turkey before returning home in March last year, just before the blockade was imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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