Arshad creates history; lifts silver in World Championship

By our correspondent
KARACHI: Pakistan’s premier javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem on Sunday created history when he became the first Pakistani athlete to claim a medal in the World Athletics Championships.
He achieved the milestone when he lifted silver medal with a super throw of 87.82 metre in the men’s javelin throw final of the global event in Budapest, Hungary.
Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra of India became the greatest athlete in the Indian sports history as after snaring gold in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics he also clinched gold at the biggest stage in Budapest with a throw of 88.17 metre.
Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic with a throw of 86.67metre claimed bronze in the most enthralling event.
Arshad, who had returned into international circuit after one year due to fitness issues, showed top form in front of the jam-packed stadium. After finishing at the summit in their respective groups by both Arshad and Neeraj Chopra in the qualification phase the other day it was truly a battle between the two which ended until the last.
After making a foul in the first round Chopra set the target with a splendid throw of 88.17m. Arshad after a couple of attempts of 74.80 and 82.81, landed superbly and managed a throw of 87.82m in his third attempt which eventually earned him the silver, which is the first medal of Pakistan in the World Championship history. Arshad’s attempts in top eight included throws of 87.15, X and 81.86.
In the previous World Championship in Eugene Arshad had finished fifth.
“It was a splendid effort from Arshad. He made the whole nation proud by snaring the first ever medal for the country in the World Athletics Championships history,” Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) president Major General (retd) Mohammad Akram Sahi told from Hungary.
“It was not easy for him to do so when he had returned after staying away of international meets for an year but the way he worked on his fitness and the way he kept his cool and showed his fitness and form here is incredible,” said Sahi, also a former international athlete.
“He is a huge national asset and we will take care of him. I congratulate the whole nation for the huge success and it will also further help in the promotion of athletics in the country,” Sahi said.
Meanwhile former Arshad’s coach Fayyaz Hussain Bukhari said that despite hot conditions Arshad did a super job.
“I pay salute to him. He did a wonderful job. It was hot but he managed the situation well. There was pressure on both Arshad and Chopra but the outcome was fantastic for Pakistan,” Bukhari said.
“Arshad would have known where he made mistakes. He could have managed his best today but he will need to work harder and in future he can pull off more fantastic results,” Bukhari.
Bukhari is a person who coached Arshad for eight years and guided him into the Tokyo Olympics.
Arshad’ s coach Salman Butt told The News that they are grateful to God for the gift.
“It was a gift from God. You know he was in rehab and was playing after a year. I hoped he would get gold but still we are thankful to God. He created history,” Butt told this correspondent from Budapest.
Meanwhile this correspondent also learnt that Arshad’s urine sample was taken for the dope test which is a routine exercise in these events.

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