What's the story?
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Neeraj Chopra has qualified for the finals of the IAAF Diamond League 2018 to be held in Zurich on 30 August.
Five other javelin throwers, world champion Johannes Vetter, Olympic champion Thomas Rohler, 2017 IAAF Diamond League champion Jakub Vadlejch, German champion Andreas Hofmann and Estonian record-holder Magnus Kirt, have also qualified for the event. There are two more spots in the event which will be decided in Birmingham on 18 August.
In case you didn't know...
Neeraj started off the year on a positive note as he threw a distance of 86.47 metres on his way to winning the Commonwealth Games gold at Gold Coast. He thus became India's first javelin thrower to achieve the feat.
Later on, at the Doha Diamond League, the 20-year-old finished fourth with a throw of 87.43 metres, which was a new national record surpassing the previous record of 86.48 metres, also set by him. At the Eugene Diamond League, his performance was not quite up to the mark. In tricky conditions, Neeraj could only throw 80.81 metres as he finished sixth.
However, at Rabat, Neeraj secured his place in the Diamond League final after throwing a distance of 83.32 metres.
The heart of the matter
Neeraj is currently at sixth in the Diamond League standings for 2018 with 12 points from three meetings. Only the top eight in the standings make it to the final. A win gives eight points, which means even if eighth-placed Keshorn Walcott (who has just two points) wins in Birmingham, the Indian will still finish above him.
Thomas Rohler and Andreas Hofmann, of course, are perched right at the top of the standings with 21 and 19 points respectively while Magnus Kirt is at third with 15 points.
It is going to be tough for Neeraj to compete against their likes. Johannes Vetter, who has 14 points from only two meets, is also a frontrunner to win in Zurich.