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May 3, 2021

Arshad stuck in Turkey because of lockdown

Sports

May 3, 2021

KARACHI: The country’s premier javelin thrower and Tokyo Olympics medal hope Arshad Nadeem’s return from Turkey has been delayed due to lockdown in Antalya.

However, he is hopeful that in a couple of days he will be able to get a flight.

“Here lockdown was imposed on April 29 and there is also a flight issue but I am hopeful in two or three days I will be able to get the flight back to Pakistan,” Arshad told ‘The News’ from Antalya on Sunday.

Athletics Federation of Pakistan’s (AFP) president Maj Gen (retd) Akram Sahi told 'The News' they have made tentative reservation for Arshad and he will hopefully return on May 5.

Arshad had to return home on April 30.

He had gone to Turkey a couple of weeks ago for training under the World Athletics coach and former world silver medallist Viktor of Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, his coach Fayyaz Bukhari told this correspondent that after Arshad’s return they will prepare a plan.

“When Arshad returns we will prepare a plan for Olympics preparations. I will let him see his family for three days before we resume training at Lahore,” Fayyaz said.

“After the resumption of training the first 20 days will be very important in which we will be in full load. I will check the conditioning and skills levels of Arshad and bring him back at par before we go into the competition phase which will last for almost two months until the Olympics,” Fayyaz said.

Arshad will begin his Olympics journey on August 5 and on August 6 he will play finals.

Arshad created history in December 2019 when he managed an 86.29 metre throw in Nepal’s South Asian Games to make it to the world’s most prestigious event.

Arshad last month recorded an 86.38 metre throw in Imam Reza International Athletics event in Mashhad, Iran, which showed that the Khanewal-born athlete has made significant progress.

Arshad will be aiming to break the 90-metre block which will ensure a medal for him in the Olympics.

“I am very much hopeful Arshad will win a medal in Tokyo,” said Fayyaz, who has been training Arshad for the last six years.

Fayyaz said that they would need to go to Turkey 15 days before the athletics event. “It would be of great benefit if we went there 15 days before our event. It would help us acclimatise and get settled before going into the competition,” Fayyaz said.

“I hope he gets everything proper in Tokyo so that he could exhibit his skills properly at the biggest stage,” Fayyaz said.

Standard equipment is also a big issue and Fayyaz wants to meet the Director General of Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) so that he could help them. “We need equipment for weight training, standard javelin and England-made medicine balls. We have Chinese brand of balls but those are not good,” Fayyaz said.