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April 19, 2021

Arshad starts training under Viktor


April 19, 2021

KARACHI: Aiming to add more to his strength ahead of this year’s Tokyo Olympics, Pakistan’s premier javelin thrower and Olympics medal hope Arshad Nadeem has started training under the Kazakhstan coach Viktor Yevsyukov, a former world silver medallist, in Turkey’s city Antalya.

On the third day on trot, he underwent training on Sunday. Arshad said that a few things have been added to his training.

“Viktor has added three to four new things to my training. It’s just the start and let’s see how we progress,” Arshad told ‘The News’ from Antalya on Sunday.

“Viktor has undoubtedly great knowledge of javelin and I will try to learn more from him during my stay here,” said Arshad, who the other day moved to Turkey for a three-week training under Viktor after a superb career-best throw of 86.38 metre in Iran’s Imam Reza International Athletics event in Mashhad.

He said that there is a bit of a language barrier as the coach cannot speak English.

“I try to pick what he says and when I pick and bring it to practice the coach is happy. When I am unable to understand then he becomes anxious. It’s an issue and an interpreter can fix this. A physio and an interpreter are important,” Arshad said.

When this correspondent approached the president of the Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) Major General (retd) Mohammad Akram Sahi he said they would try to fix the issue. “We had sent with him Salman Butt because we wanted him to get Arshad settled there and manage all his requirements. Salman is returning and will brief me. If there is such an issue we will immediately try to resolve. We have sent him to learn and definitely we will act immediately,” said Sahi, also a former international athlete.

Arshad will stay until April 30 in Turkey before going into his camp at Lahore under his coach Fayyaz Hussain Bukhari.

Staying at the well-furnished Crown Plaza in Antalya, Arshad said that he feels pain in his elbow and so does not throw during training. “I don’t throw as the coach has told me not to throw because of my minor elbow pain which I had developed during the Iran event. It’s not the old elbow pain which was very bad. I am trying to treat it through icing,” Arshad said.

“Yes, we conduct javelin drills. Currently we train in two sessions and hope the things progress well,” said Arshad, also a 2018 Indonesia Asian Games bronze medallist.

Arshad blasted his way into the Tokyo Olympics with an 86.29 metre throw in the 2019 South Asian Games in Nepal.

He was then sent to China for training but the trip was cut short due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in Wuhan. He was then put in a camp in Lahore under Fayyaz Bukhari but it was also disbanded by mid-March 2020 because of the countrywide lockdown. Arshad then stayed almost nine months at home without any serious training. In late December he was put in a camp at Lahore.

Arshad said that Viktor is very impressed with him as an athlete. “Viktor has appreciated my achievement. He says that I am very strong and can play three more Olympics after Tokyo. His praise has instilled more confidence in me and has really motivated me,” Arshad said.

Viktor has a rich javelin throw history, having played for both the Soviet Union and Kazakhstan. Viktor’s best throw is 93.70 metre.

Viktor has helped Arshad during his training at Lahore since January via virtual link. The AFP had also managed an extended training camp for Arshad in Kazakhstan but he could not proceed due to border restrictions because of Covid-19.

The AFP still hopes Arshad may be sent to Kazakhstan for training before the Olympics. This is the first time that any athlete has directly qualified for the Olympics in the country’s history.