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Diamond League: Chopra betters his best, finishes fourth 

Doha: Star Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra shattered his own national record by clearing a distance of 87.43m en route finishing fourth in a star-studded field in the season opening Diamond League series meeting here on Friday.Chopra, who recently won a gold in the Commonwealth Games with a throw of 86.47m, was up against Olympics champion Thomas Rohler, world champion Johannes Vetter and Andreas Hoffman, all in the 90m club, but the 22-year-old Indian was not intimidated as he sent the spear to 87.43m in his second attempt to better his previous best of 86.48m.In the process, Chopra beat the 2017 London World Championships silver medallist, Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic, who finished fifth with a best throw of 86.67m.Chopra had set the national record of 86.48m when he won a gold in the 2016 World Junior Championships in Poland. That mark is also the world junior record.    After winning the gold in Gold Coast, Chopra had said that he would like to get into the 90m club — the gold standard mark in javelin. Even Vetter had predicted that he would throw between 88m to 90m this year itself. Today’s performance showed that Neeraj is inching towards the elite club.He began with a throw 81.17m, and then came up with an 87.43m throw before fouling his next three attempts. He recorded 81.06m in his sixth and last throw. Rohler won the gold with a best throw of 91.78m in his second attempt. Vetter was second with 91.56m, while Hoffman finished third with 90.08m as the Germans swept the top three spots. — PTI

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