LAHORE: Being awarded honourary membership by the Cambridge University Sports Centre had added to Arshad Nadeem’s motivation to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Pakistan’s big medal hope, the 25-year-old javelin thrower is currently training at the facility where he’s also nursing his elbow injury under the supervision of Pakistan-origin Dr. Ali Sher Bajwa ahead of his event on Aug 5 at the Birmingham Games.“It has boosted my morale further and added to my motivation before the competition,” Arshad told Dawn in a message regarding the membership.

Arshad, who last year became the first athlete from Pakistan to qualify for a track and field final at the Olympics in Tokyo, heads into the Commonwealth Games after a fifth-place finish in the javelin event of the World Athletics Championship in the United States last week.

However, he is without his coach Salman Butt in Birmingham after the Pakistan Olympic Association couldn’t get his accreditation made in time after a delay on the part of the Pakistan Sports Board in sending the required documents.

Salman, however, has been holding training sessions virtually and said Arshad’s chances of winning a medal had been significantly increased with India’s Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra withdrawing from the Games due to injury.

“It’s difficult as you can only view a limited plan of his movements virtually but somehow we are managing,” Salman told Dawn on Friday.

“On current form, only world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada [ who won in Oregon with a throw over 90 metres ]stands between Arshad and a gold medal.

“Peters is the only one among the top four of the World Championships who will be competing in Birmingham and Arshad’s confidence is high that he can return with a medal.”

Salman informed Arshad was getting a medical check-up for his elbow pain and that his medical tests, scans and x-rays of his throwing elbow, had been done on Thursday. Despite the injury, Arshad managed a throw of 86.16m at the World Championships.

Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2022

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