Owing to Neeraj Chopra’s gold-medal-winning performance at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, Indian Athletics is slowly but steadily rising. Even at the recently concluded World Athletics Championships 2023, Indian athletes showed their skills. The last day of the championships saw Neeraj again claiming the top spot and becoming the world champion, India’s men’s 4 X400m relay team finishing a respectable fifth position, and 3000m steeplechase runner Parul Chaudhary smashing the Indian national record.
Although the World Athletics Championships 2023 concluded, another major Athletics competition, the Wanda Diamond League, is still underway, with the 12th leg set to take place in Xiamen, China. The Wanda Diamond League 2023, which is the top-tier event of the World Athletics, also featured some top Indians in its 11 stages that have been held so far. The final of the Diamond League 2023 is all set to be held for the first time in the United States’ Eugene on Sept 16 and 17, 2023. Thus, the Indian fans will also hope that their athletes perform well at the Wanda Diamond League 2023 finals, considering its huge prestige. Let’s take a look at the Indians who have qualified for the finals of the event.
1) Neeraj Chopra
Just a week after being crowned the world champion, India’s Neeraj Chopra took the second spot in the men’s javelin event at the Zurich Diamond League 2023 in Switzerland. With a top throw of 85.71 meters which he achieved on his last attempt, Neeraj claimed the second place. Jakub Vadlejch from the Czech Republic clinched the top spot with a throw of 85.86 meters. This outcome resulted in breaking Neeraj Chopra’s winning run in the 2023 season.
Before the Zurich event, he had collected victories in the Diamond League stages in both Doha and Lausanne, and became the first athlete from India to clinch the gold medal at the World Athletics Championships 2023 in Budapest and be the world champion. His performance at the Zurich Diamond League included throws of 80.79m, 85.22m, and 85.71m, with some attempts resulting in no mark. Neeraj had already confirmed his spot in the finals before competing in Zurich.
2) Murali Sreeshankar
Murali Sreeshankar secured the fifth place in the men’s long jump at the Zurich Diamond League 2023, with his best jump of 7.99 meters. This performance garnered him four qualification points and earned him a spot in the Diamond League Final 2023 to be held in Eugene, Oregon, the United States. He’s the second Indian athlete, following Neeraj Chopra, to qualify for a Diamond League final. The event at Zurich also marked Sreeshankar’s third appearance in a Diamond League event this year. He had previously finished third in Paris and also came in fifth in Lausanne.
In Zurich, Sreeshankar kicked off his campaign with a strong 7.99m jump, which temporarily put him ahead of Greece’s Miltiadis Tentoglou, the current Olympic, world, and Diamond League champion. Tentoglou then bettered him with an 8.04m jump which moved Sreeshankar to second place. Jamaica’s Tajay Gayle took the lead for sometime with an 8.07m jump in the fourth round. However, Tentoglou won the event, defeating Gayle and Jarrion Lawson with a last-minute jump of 8.20m.
1. World Athletics Championships Stats: Who are the best performing nations?
2. Diamond League 2023 Stats: Winners of the London meet event-wise
3. Neeraj Chopra: What are the Olympic champion’s top ten best throws?
4. Murali Sreeshankar: What are the athlete’s top ten best jumps?