The Punjab government on Tuesday announced cash rewards of Rs1 million for javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem, weightlifter Talha Talib and mountaineer Shehroz Kashif for their recent stellar performances at the global level.
Nadeem missed out on an Olympic medal and finished fifth in the javelin throw event at the Tokyo Olympics, but the athlete from Mian Chunnu received wide acclaim back home for his achievement with little resources at his disposal.
Similarly, 21-year-old weightlifter Talha Talib from Gujranwala took part in the 67kg category in the Tokyo Olympics and held the gold medal spot until the final round before eventually being bumped down and finishing fifth in the competition. However, he was widely hailed in the country for his effort.
Kashif, 19, had on July 27 become the youngest person to reach the summit of K2 — the world's second-highest peak at a height of 8,611 metres (28,251 foot) above sea level — with the aid of bottled oxygen.
Hailing the athletes for their remarkable gains, Punjab Sports Minister Rai Taimur Khan Bhatti said the nation watched the Tokyo Olympics with zeal, while Pakistan’s participants Nadeem and Talib “did really well” in the competition.
Addressing a press conference, Bhatti said he would personally visit the airport to receive Nadeem. The minister said the Government of Punjab had always supported and encouraged sports persons.
He also announced an award of Rs0.5m for Nadeem’s coach.
The minister further said the Punjab government would bear travel expenses of Haider Ali and Nabila Baig, who will take part in the Paralympic Games.