KARACHI/LAHORE: Arshad Nadeem was quite certain that he would win the gold medal on Sunday night in Birmingham, regardless of what the other competitors did or the condition of his wounded elbow.
Everything has been a frenzy for him since his world-record throw of 90.18 meters in the Commonwealth Games’ javelin final gave Pakistan its first track and field medal in 56 years.
This makes sense. Even longer has Pakistan’s quest been for an athletics gold medal. The national song had not been performed at the Commonwealth Games’ track and field venue in 60 years.
Arshad, who three times throughout the session beat his personal best, sobbed after winning but grinned broadly as the performance of the national anthem drew to a close. He was wearing the medal he had long yearned for and pledged to deliver.
Wishing for more gold
It was time for his drug test once he had left the podium. He finished presenting his sample at midnight.
It was time to pack everything up on Monday and board a plane for Turkiye, where Arshad is hoping to win another gold medal at the Islamic Solidarity Games.
Arshad spoke to Dawn in an interview as he hurried to the airport, already late for his departure to Konya. “Just another day in an athlete’s jet-set existence,” he said.
After competing at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, where he placed fifth, Arshad traveled to England. At his first stop, Dr. Ali Sher Bajwa of Cambridge University examined his elbow injury. He didn’t march with the Pakistan contingent at the opening ceremony, and he was leaving long before the closing ceremony on Monday ever got underway.
Arshad declared, “I have the gold, and that’s what matters most to me.
The fact that Arshad won in Birmingham without his coach there makes it even more amazing. Salman Butt, who was unable to obtain his accreditation in time, was watching Arshad perform on television.
Salman was not surprised when Arshad broke the 90-meter barrier to become the first South Asian javelin thrower to do it.
On Monday, Salman told Dawn, “He can do even better.” I had faith that he could pull it off.
Arshad concurred. I wasn’t going to surrender easily… I was confident in my ability to prevail.
Arshad had been in the lead for the majority of the competition, but it appeared like Anderson Peters, the world champion from Grenada, had turned the competition around when he blasted the javelin to 88.64 meters with his penultimate throw. But Arshad promptly countered with a throw that broke the competition record and guaranteed the gold medal.
Wild celebrations ensued all throughout the nation as a result, but in Arshad’s hometown of Mian Chunnu, where family members had gathered in front of a television, they were the loudest.
Aleem Arshad, his brother, told Dawn that it was a wonderful occasion for the family. “At the same time got worried about the condition of his tightly strapped elbow.”
With the urge to win, we forgot Arshad’s pain temporarily.
He realizes that if he wants to achieve his lofty goals, he can’t continue to suffer from elbow pain for much longer.
He said, “Dr. Bajwa has taken a good look at my elbow. But he hasn’t really informed me what we need to do. “We’ll begin the treatment after the Islamic Games are over.
I hope to be pain-free for both the 2024 Paris Olympics and the Asian Games in China.
Dr. Bajwa termed it a miracle.
He said in an interview with on Monday that “we will shortly meet down with his coach [Salman] and the Athletics Federation of Pakistan to finalize a path for his early recovery.” “We’re also investigating a long-standing knee issue.”
Salman thinks Arshad can increase his best distance “by another five meters” once the injuries have been attended to.
Prior to competing at the world championships, Arshad, who placed sixth at the Olympics in Tokyo last year, had a two-month preparation camp in South Africa with coach Terseus Liebenberg.
Arshad met Czech Republic native Jan Zelenzy. He has the world record for the javelin in 1996 by tossing the spear 98.26 meters in South Africa.
The goal, according to Arshad, is to break the current record. “Zelenzy advised me to keep working out hard and it would happen, she said. I am confident in my ability to accomplish that.
While Arshad’s performance in the Games fell 39 centimeters short of Neeraj Chopra’s winning effort of 87.86 meters in Tokyo. It was still significantly better than the Olympic record set by Norwegian Andreas Thorkildsen in 2008.
Due to an injury, India’s Chopra was unable to compete in the Commonwealth Games, but he quickly congratulated Arshad online given their friendly rivalry.
Since 2016, they have been competing against one another, and while Neeraj initially appeared to be superior to Arshad, the Pakistani’s victory at the 90-meter mark has stoked expectations for a South Asian power struggle at the top of the javelin hierarchy in the years to come.
Salman, Arshad’s coach, remarked that the situation had been “extremely neatly set up.” The upcoming events will feature an interesting confrontation between them.
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