From Web Desk
KARACHI: The country’s premier javelin thrower and the Olympics medal hope Arshad Nadeem has an interesting life story. He was a good fast bowler of tennis ball and kept creating ripples at various levels during his early years of his life. Until he got admission in the seventh class Arshad was an avid cricketer, also having remained impressive with the leather ball. He had earned name in cricket in Khanewal district.
It was when he was reading in the seventh class that he changed his mind and switched over to athletics after being inspired by his two brothers Mohammad Shahid Azeem and Shahid Nadeem who also used to play athletics.
People used to tell him that he had a good height and speed and could turn out to be a solid cricketer. But fate had decided something different for Arshad. Arshad, aged 23, also did not feel good by losing the chance to become a speedster at the highest level.
However unimaginable achievements in the athletics field has enabled Arshad to forget cricket.
”Yes definitely I missed cricket a lot and was not feeling well when I switched over to athletics as people used to advise me that I could turn out to be a best fast bowler. Truly speaking I have no such burden in my mind that I have lost an opportunity to become a professional cricketer. My achievements in athletics have enabled me to forget cricket,” Arshad said in an interview.
“My teachers Zafar and Ajmal at school level looked after me properly and I performed at every level where I got chance in javelin throw,” Arshad said.
“When I performed at division level a sports officer Rasheed Ahmed requested our school sports teachers if they give Arshad to him he would turn him into a great player. And thus it was a turning point in my career as I was properly looked after until I joined WAPDA,” Arshad recalled.
“At that time there were no vacancies in PAF. I waited for sometime and then vacancies came both in PAF and WAPDA and I joined the later on the advice of Rasheed sahib and am still serving WAPDA,” Arshad said.
“In between 2015 and 2016 I trained under different coaches. And finally I got the right man as a coach in the shape of Fayyaz Hussain Bukhari and he is still my coach. He is hard working and fine coach,” Arshad said.
“In 2015 I featured in the National Championship for the first time and took gold. And since then I have been successively winning gold medals in javelin throw in the national events,” said Arshad.
Arshad shot to fame when he lifted bronze in the 12th South Asian Games in India in 2016. It was not an easy bronze as the effort earned for him World No3 spot in the World Athletics Under-20 rankings.
As the gold medallist and silver medallist who belonged to India and Sri Lanka respectively were enjoying the world’s top two positions, respectively.
And later the same year Arshad won Asian Junior Championships bronze in Vietnam.
In 2017 Arshad lifted bronze in the Islamic Games in Baku, followed by a bronze in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. And Arshad never looked back. He went on to set national record in the 33rd National Games in Peshawar before producing a huge throw of 86.29metre during the 13th South Asian Games in Nepal last year which earned for him the most coveted berth in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics which now be held next year with the same title.
“It was a dream come true. I worked hard, believed in God Almighty and blasted my way into the Olympics,” Arshad said.
“InshaAllah I will medal in Olympics,” Arshad said.