It was a morning that Pakistan Athletes will remember for a long time, as Arshad Nadeem of Pakistan made history on Wednesday by qualifying for the final of the Tokyo Olympics javelin throw competition.
He was assigned to Group B for the competition, which required him to throw a minimum of 83.5 meters in order to advance to the final. Only six competitors from his group were able to accomplish, with Arshad being one of them, the other six athletes progressed to the finals based on their respective furthest throws.
In his first attempt, the 24-year-old Pakistani athlete could reach the 78.5m mark but in the second attempt, Arshad created history with a throw of 85.16m that also placed him on top of group B.
This was overall the third-best throw in the contest after India’s Neeraj Chopra (86.65m) and Germany’s Johannes Vetter (85.64m).
This is also Arshad’s third-best throw in a competition.
Earlier this year, Arshad threw the javelin to a distance of 86.39m for his personal best and a national record during the Imam Reza championship in Iran. Earlier in 2019, he threw 86.29m at South Asian Games in Nepal.
One can safely say that Arshad’s best is yet to come and hope that the best comes at the final on 7th August, which is scheduled to commence at 4:00 pm Pakistan time.
Pakistani athlete will also have his eyes on a medal on Saturday as he’s being considered as a potential hope to end the country’s Olympic medal drought.
Arshad’s main competitors will be India’s Neeraj Chopra and Germany’s Johannes Vetter. The fact that some of the best javelin throwers couldn’t make it to the final.
Among them are Julius Yego (PB 92.72m), Chao-Tsun Cheng (PB 91.36m), Keshorn Walcott (PB 90.16m), Marcin Krukowski (PB 89.55m) Bernhard Seifert (PB 89.06m) and Anderson Peters (PB 87.31m).
Arshad, who once wanted to be a cricketer, had said prior to Olympics, had said that he would be eyeing a 90m throw in Olympics. It is worth noting that Arshad is a self-made person who made his name as one of the most promising athletes of Pakistan without getting any assistance from the Government of Pakistan.
Prior to Arshad representing Pakistan in Olympics, Muhammad Iqbal proved his mettle as a Javeline thrower and competed in the 1952 Summer Olympics, in the 1956 Summer Olympics, and in the 1960 Summer Olympics. It is worth mentioning that the World Record for Olympics in Javelin throw is 90.57m by Norway’s Andreas Thorkildsen.
Arshad Nadeem was born and raised in Mian Chunnu, a small city in the Punjab province of Pakistan. He worked at a brick kiln in unimaginably tough conditions. However, Arshad was approached by Zahid Aziz Chaudhry, former chief coach at LESCO who employed him as a Grade 7 worker. Soon, Arshad proved himself worthy of becoming Champion Pakistan and later, he went on to become South Asian Champion. Currently, Arshad is employed at LESCO, Pakistan as Grade 18 officer.
Read more: https://pakobserver.net/pakistan/