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October 8, 2019

Arshad says he can manage 90-metre throw with long, quality training


October 8, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan’s premier javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem has said that he can record even a 90-metre throw if he is given long and quality training.

“Yes, I can manage a 90-metre throw if I am given high standard training for a long time,” Arshad told ‘The News’ in an interview from Doha. Arshad on Saturday created ripples when he set a new national record with an 81.52m throw at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, surpassing his previous best throw of 80.75m which fetched for him a bronze medal in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

However, the feat in Doha was not enough for Arshad to qualify for the finals. But his performance created a hope that the Mian Channu-born athlete can become a world beater. Arshad just made two attempts in Doha due to injury.

“One week before competition I developed a groin stress. When I made first attempt in Doha the stress increased. I attempted a second throw but could not attempt the third one,” Arshad said.

The global event at Khalifa International Stadium was an opportunity for Arshad to qualify for the 2020 Olympics. But the result has motivated him further and he intends to make a cut for Tokyo 2020. “InshAllah, I will try my best to qualify for Olympics. I am very excited to do this. National Games and South Asian Games are ahead and I will try my level best to raise my performance,” Arshad said.

He said he was happy that he left behind an Indian athlete in the tough event. “Neeraj, India’s top seed, was not playing. I have heard that he has undergone an elbow surgery. I beat the other Indian,” Arshad said.

He made it clear that he can play for at least ten more years. “I am just 22 and so can play well for around ten years. If an athlete keeps himself fit and trains constantly then he can play until 40 years,” Arshad said.

However, he was quick to add that if he plays for four to six months in a year and remains idle for six months at home then he can only play for ten years, he said.

Arshad said that he needs gym equipment and javelin at home so that he could continue training on his own when he is on leave or there is no camp. “I have no set-up at home, so I can’t continue training at home when I am out of camp. I need a javelin and equipment for gym,” the 2016 South Asian Games and 2016 Asian Junior Championships bronze medallist said.

Arshad revealed that he trains at the ground of a government school in his village. “The ground there is very big and I train there during the off-season,” he added.

He lauded the efforts of the Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) president Maj Gen (retd) Akram Sahi for the development of athletics in the country. “General sahib is doing all he can for me. He tells me that I can do better as I have the potential and that encourages me,” said Arshad, who got bronze in the 4th Islamic Games in Baku in 2017.

Sahi has talked to the president of German Athletics Association and it is expected that either Pakistan will get a German coach for Arshad or Arshad will be sent to Germany for training.

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