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Pakistan’s Olympics medal hope Arshad betters his personal best to win gold in Iran

By our correspondent

KARACHI: Pakistan’s Olympics medal hope Arshad Nadeem on Monday managed his personal best throw, which is also a new national record, in the International Imam Reza Cup in Mashhad, Iran.

Arshad surpassed his previous best throw of 86.29m by managing an 86.38m throw in the Iran’s athletics event which also fetched for him a gold medal. This has shown that the country’s top athlete has made improvement during the last three months training in Lahore.

“I am very happy and it is through prayers of our nation that I have bettered my personal best and set a new national record,” Arshad told this correspondent from Mashhad.

“Its great and I am proud that through just three months training I managed to do my personal best,” Arshad said.

“You can say that it was an Asian level event as athletes of around 11 to 12 countries participated. My throw is also the best of this Iran’s event,” Arshad said.

Arshad’s throws break-up is 78.85m, X, 70m, 84.07m, 86.38m and X.

Meanwhile Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) president Major General (retd) Akram Sahi was happy with Arshad’s feat.

“We are very very satisfied with Arshad’s progress and it has proved that we are proceeding towards a right direction,” Sahi told this correspondent.

“With the way he has improved we are now very much hopeful that if he goes well he will lift medal in the Tokyo Olympics,” said Sahi, also a former international athlete.

Arshad will now move to Turkey to undergo a three-week long training under the World Athletics coach Viktor of Kazakhstan.

He will be accompanied by a former international hammer thrower and a former national champion Salman Butt.

“Yes Salman is the secretary of Punjab Athletics Association and is an America-qualified and he will help Arshad to communicate with coach Viktor during training,” Sahi said.

Sahi said that he is hopeful that Viktor’s tips would further bring improvement in Arshad’s performance. Arshad had been receiving tips from Viktor during his last three-month training in Lahore.

Sahi said that if situation improves and border restrictions are eased out Arshad will definitely be sent to Kazakhstan.

He said if he is sent to Kazakhstan then his coach Fayyaz Bukhari would also be sent with him.

“But in Turkey we want to keep Arshad purely under Viktor who has the ability to further bring improvement in Arshad’s performance graph,” Sahi said.

Arshad became the first athlete in Pakistan’s athletics history when he managed 86.29m throw in the 2019 13th South Asian Games in Nepal to make it to the Olympics.

Arshad was then sent to China along with four other athletes for training which was cut short due to outbreak of Covid-19. He was then put in a camp at Lahore but in the latter part of March 2020 it was disbanded due to countrywide lockdown. Arshad then stayed until December 2020 at home before the state and AFP jointly managed a camp for him at Lahore.

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