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September 2, 2020

AFP planning again to send Arshad abroad for training


September 2, 2020

KARACHI: In order to prepare the country’s premier javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) is once again planning to send him abroad for training.

“Yes, we are again planning and very soon we will finalise where we are going to send him,” AFP Secretary General Mohammad Zafar told ‘The News’ on Tuesday.

Finland and Kazakhstan were the two probable destinations for Arshad before the lockdown. And eventually Finland had been chosen.

“We will review the plans and will keep both destinations as options,” Zafar said.

“There are good training prospects in Kazakhstan too as their coach Viktor Aleksandrovich Yevsyukov is working hard with his players. He is a renowned coach and it will be great if we are able to have a deal with them,” Zafar said.

“But nothing is final as we are going to reopen the matter,” Zafar was quick to add.

“Arshad has got ample time now and our main objective would be to keep him abroad for as long as we can,” said the official.

When asked whether they would also send his coach Fayyaz Bukhari along Arshad, Zafar said: “Actually it will be Arshad who will train but we will keep sending the coach also if it is possible.

“It all depends on the situation and finances. We will do what is best and what is affordable,” Zafar said.

Arshad qualified for Tokyo Olympics with a fantastic 86.29 metre throw at the 13th South Asian Games in Nepal last year which also fetched for him gold medal.

Mian Channu-born 2018 Asian Games bronze medallist became the first Pakistani athlete to directly qualify for Olympics. He was then sent to China for training along with four other athletes but the tour was cut short due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

After returning from China, Arshad was put in a camp at Lahore under his coach Fayyaz Bukhari but the lockdown in the later part of March forced the closure of the camp.

The AFP now wants to immediately hold a camp for him at Lahore. “We want to hold the camp for Arshad as soon as possible. We are writing to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) today,” Zafar said.

“The situation has improved a lot and there is possibility of everything opening by September 15. We will do our work,” Zafar said.

Arshad focussed on his fitness during the lockdown. He was also assisted by his coach Fayyaz who visited his village to discuss with him training plans.

During an interview with ‘The News’ last month, Fayyaz said that he would start working with Arshad from the start after the lockdown.