LAHORE: Despite carrying a chronic elbow injury, Pakistan’s top javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem on Thursday vowed to compete in all major international competitions including World Championships, Commonwealth Games and the Islamic Games during 2022.
“Injuries are part of every athlete’s life; they come and go but I am ready to represent Pakistan at this year’s World Championships, Commonwealth Games and the Islamic Games,” Arshad said and regretted that the Asian Games, which were scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China from Sept 10-25, had been postponed indefinitely due to the resurgence of Covid-19 in the East Asian country.
The 25-year-old Arshad, who rose to prominence last year by becoming Pakistan’s very first track and field athlete who directly qualified for the Tokyo Olympics and also competed there in the finals to finish fifth, told Dawn that he faced the same elbow pain when he competed in Tokyo.
Arshad will represent Pakistan at the World Athletics Championships being held in Eugene, US from July 15 to 24 before competing in the July 28-Aug 8 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. In the last assignment of the year, he will participate in the Islamic Games being staged in Konya, Turkey from Aug 9 to 18.
Commenting on media reports saying the Athletics Federation of Pakistan was considering consulting foreign doctors to cure his elbow problem, Arshad said the AFP might be seeking such a programme but added he was focusing on his training and hoped to give improved performance in the forthcoming international events.
Arshad, who hails from Mian Channu of Khanewal District, said he was coming to Lahore to resume training from next week following which he would discuss the future programme with the AFP.
The athlete, who recently returned from South Africa where he trained for two months under foreign coaches, reckoned the visit to the African country had brought significant improvement in his skills as he learnt modern techniques there to throw the javelin more effectively.
“My training in South Africa was curtailed just because all the [other] athletes getting training there had left to participate in different competitions. Therefore, I also came back,” Arshad added.
According to his original schedule, Arshad had to stay in South Africa till flying out to the US for the World Championship in July.
Arshad said his coaches in South Africa pinned their hopes on me for a medal at least in this year’s Asian Games but unfortunately they were postponed.
However, he sounded very optimistic to bring laurels for Pakistan in both the Islamic Games as well as the Commonwealth Games.
Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2022