Javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem creates history

ISPR congratulates sportsman on bagging gold


Natasha Raheel August 08, 2022

KARACHI:

Olympian javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem created history as he became the first South Asian to cross the 90m barrier in the sport and the first ever Pakistani to claim the athletics gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham Sunday night.

The 25-year-old created the games record with the throw of 90.18m to clinch the gold medal leaving behind his closest competitor and World Athletics Championship 2022 gold medallist Grenada’s Anderson Peters.

Arshad made history in his fifth attempt right after Peters equalised his lead of 88.0m.

Arshad began strongly, despite a long-standing elbow injury he had been carrying since before the Tokyo Olympics and another soft tissue trauma injury in the knee. He was competing without his personal coach as well.

He threw the spear at 86,81m in the first attempt, which was his personal best till that moment, but that was just the beginning for Arshad’s fairy-tale run at the games.

The athlete from Mian Chunna, Khanewal was not settling with anything less than the gold medal it seems, and none of the 13 competitors were coming close to him except for Peters.

His second attempt was deemed invalid, but that only made Arshad hungrier for the excellence he knew he could achieve. Arshad engaged the crowd by raising his hands and clapping to see the spectators get behind his throw.

The youngster, who is also the father of two was seen pacing and praying as he waited for his fellow competitors take the turn. Arshad was in the zone, most certainly spiritually, and braved through his injuries.

He bolted in the 88.00m in the third attempt with 85.09 and visibly seemed in pain as he touched his heavily taped elbow.

Arshad's elbow requires him to go through a surgery. “I waited for these events to happen. I waited for a year, I didn’t compete at all, but I wanted to play for Pakistan at the World Athletics Championship, then the Commonwealth games and then Islamic Solidarity games. These events are important for me, so I did not go for the surgery. I hustled through it so I could do something for my country,” Arshad had told The Express Tribune before coming to Birmingham from Eugene, Oregon where he finished fifth at the World Championship.

In the final, Arshad lived up to his word and made history not only for Pakistan but for the entire South Asian region, and stunned the world with 90.18m throw in his fifth attempt.

He was already declared a winner when Peters threw his spear at 85.50m.

Arshad threw at 81.29m in his sixth and last attempt.

Arshad’s physician Dr Asad Abbas had told The Express tribune that the 2018 Asian Games bronze medallist has been 90 to 95% better physically compared to a few weeks ago.

Read: Arshad unfazed by elbow, knee injuries before CWG final

Arshad seemed to be in his better form in the final than at the one in Eugene, Oregon.

Arshad trained with Terseus Liebenberg in South Africa for two months earlier this year, but he returned and continued his preparation in Lahore, where he did not even have a specialised gym, but used Punjab University facilities along with his coach Salman Butt.

In 2019, Arshad became the first Pakistani to qualify for the athletics event at the Olympics and finished fifth in Tokyo.

With his gold medal Pakistan bowed out of the Commonwealth games with two gold medals, three silver medals and three bronze medals.

Earlier Weightlifter Muhammad Nooh Dastgir Butt took the gold medal in +109kg event where he too set the games' record by lifting 405 kg and made record in the overall total with 173 kg, in snatch and clean and jerk with 232 kg.

Other medallists include wrestlers Zaman Anwar in the 125kg freestyle event, Muhammad Inam in the 86kg event and Muhammad Sharif Tahir in the 74kg event, bagging silver medals.

Judoka Shah Hussain Shah took the first medal for Pakistan in the 90kg event, Inayatullah took another in the 65kg freestyle wrestling and Ali Asad in the 57kg wrestling event.

The Pakistan Army also congratulated the national sportsman for securing the gold.

According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), “Pakistan Armed Forces congratulate Arshad Nadeem for an outstanding performance in the Commonwealth Games and winning the gold medal for Pakistan in Javelin Throw.”

The military’s media wing said, “Brilliant Arshad Nadeem, well done for making Pakistan proud.”

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