KARACHI: Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) plans to send the country's leading javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem and No2 Mohammad Yasir abroad for training in near future.
"We have already made contacts with people in Finland, Kazakhstan, the UK and South Africa and hopefully we will be able to decide soon about where we should send them," AFP president Maj Gen (retd) Akram Sahi told 'The News' in an interview on Wednesday.
"We want to provide quality training to Arshad as he needs to hone his skills further. We are also considering sending Pakistan's No2 javelin thrower Yasir. Yasir has potential and is young," he said.
"We will not waste time in sending the duo abroad if the government gives us money for the purpose," said Sahi, a former international athlete.
Arshad achieved global popularity with his stunning fifth place finish in the Tokyo Olympics recently. Although he failed to win a medal, he earned great reputation and was rewarded by government institutions and corporate sector upon arrival in Pakistan.
Arshad is to compete in three major events next summer: World Championship, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games which will be held within a space of two months.
"Next year is loaded with events and we will prepare Arshad well. He can win medals in these events. We have to build him properly as he is a player who can reach 100m. He is a great talent," Sahi said.
"We will try to hire a coach to train Arshad abroad. We also will plan who should be there with the head coach as support staff. Whether we should continue getting the services of Arshad's coach Bukhari or we should give a chance to others. These things are yet premature and we will decide on these matters later," Sahi said.
He said Yasir would also get inspired by Arshad and it would be a huge achievement if both competed in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
"I want to see both in the next Olympics. The AFP will do its best to invest in Arshad and Yasir and this will help the nation earn major medals in future," Sahi said.
He said they were also considering getting the services of a nutritionist and a psychologist for Arshad. "I have been using my links and I am optimistic we will manage quality training opportunities for Arshad on foreign soil. Those coaches will train him who have been the legends of javelin throw. We have to take Arshad's throwing graph to a new level and this can only be done if he gets quality training," Sahi said.
Arshad these days is passing through a transition phase which is of one month. During this stage he may engage himself in some other sports of his likings.
The AFP managed a training camp for Arshad in Kazakhstan ahead of the Tokyo Olympics but he could not go there due to flight restrictions because of Covid. He was then sent to Iran for an international event and for a two-week training in Turkey under Kazakhstan's coach Viktor.