On Saturday, Arshad Nadeem almost bagged an Olympic medal for Pakistan but fell short and finished fifth in the final of men's javelin throw competition in Tokyo.
He may not have won the round but won several hearts, especially since it is understood the 24-year-old from Mian Channu did not receive the kind of training or support other finalists may have received from their home countries.
In fact, Nadeem is Pakistan’s first track and field athlete to compete at the quadrennial event. So his feat was certainly a milestone worth celebrating. Thus, several prominent personalities took to Twitter on Sunday to congratulate him for having come so far.
Among them, many also questioned whether athletes like Nadeem or weight lifting champions like Talha Talib – who fell two kilograms short of history at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on July 25 as well – will now be paid more attention to and given the kind of sustenance and support they require at home.
One of the public figures to have spoken on a similar tangent was actor Mehwish Hayat. Taking to the micro-blogging site, the celebrity wrote, “I hope that Arshad Nadeem’s success provides the ‘catalyst’ we need to invest in our talent.” She added, “This needs to start in schools where sports needs to be made an integral part of the curriculum. This cannot – like everything else – be a flash in the pan. Time to seize the moment!”
I hope that #ArshadNadeem ‘s success provides the ‘catalyst’ we need to invest in our talent. This needs to start in schools where sports need to be made an integral part of the curriculum. This cannot - like everything else - be a flash in the pan. Time to seize the moment! 🙌🏻🇵🇰— Mehwish Hayat TI (@MehwishHayat) August 8, 2021
Arshad had qualified for the final on Wednesday through a stunning throw of 85.16m that put him on the top of the group B qualification. The throw also placed him at the number three position in both the groups combined, behind Chopra and Vetter.
Born in Khanewal on January 2, 1997, Arshad is a national champion in the javelin throw since 2015.
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