Once again, Neeraj Chopra proved to be a force to be reckoned with as he dominated the Diamond League season-opener in Doha. The Olympic champion and javelin thrower defeated Anderson Peters, the World champion from Grenada, with a remarkable World-leading 88.67m on Friday. Peters had won the Diamond League last year with an impressive personal-best of 93.07m, but he struggled with mediocre throws this season, making Neeraj the clear favourite. Neeraj won with his first throw of 88.67m and continued to impress with two additional 86-plus efforts of 86.04 and 86.52 with his second and last efforts. Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch secured second place with 88.63, while Peters finished third with 85.88.
The Diamond League event, however, wasn’t good news for everyone. Commonwealth Games triple jump champion Eldhose Paul made his Diamond League debut but failed to leave a good impression, finishing 10th with a wind-assisted 15.84m. Eldhose likely faced nerves as he was surrounded by some of the best athletes in the world; his opening attempt was his best of the day, with his next two attempts measuring 13.65 and 14.70, all with a wind of +2.2. Portugal’s Pedro Pichardo, the Olympic and World champion, won gold with 17.91m, while Burkina Faso’s Hugues Fabrice Zango, the World leader this season, secured silver with 17.81.