Pakistan’s history making athlete Arsahd Nadeem will return to Pakistan on August 12. And his mentor-plus-coach Syed Fiaz Hussain Bokhari feels. That he 24-year-old javelin-thrower has lived a dream for him, not just as an athlete but also as a Pakistani.
Bokhari, who has been training Arshad since 2014. Feels that Arshad’s performance at the Olympics javelin throw final on August 7 was world-class, as he finished fifth in Tokyo.
Arshad did what I couldn’t, says coach https://t.co/ILa9NbTZOM— South Asian Wire (@WireAsian) August 12, 2021
“I just want to say that Arshad has done what I couldn’t do in my career as an athlete. He has done so much for us,” Bokhari told The Express Tribune. “His throws were world-class. Nowhere did he lose to a point of no return and I am proud of him. Back in 2014, I had told him that he can take Pakistan to Olympics and since then he has been a good student as well. He did what I couldn’t do.”
India’s Neeraj Chopra took the historic gold medal in athletics for India with an 87.58m throw. Leading the competition throughout. Silver went to Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch as he threw the second best throw in his fifth attempt (86.67m). While his compatriot Vitezslav Vesely grabbed bronze medal with an 85.44m throw in his third attempt.
Arshad became the first Pakistani athlete in the track and field events to qualify for the Olympics directly back in 2019 at the South Asian Games with an 86.29m throw in Nepal. Before that he also won Asian Games bronze medal in 2018 to put Pakistan athletics on the world map.
The boy from Mian Chunnu, Khanewal have been phenomenal with his athletic journey. He wanted to be a cricketer in the beginning but changed his path. To become a track and field athlete as his brother had also been a shot-put athlete, besides playing football.
Arshad did what I couldn’t, says coach https://t.co/ylEUJbgnGT— Huge Tech (@tech_huge) August 11, 2021
Arshad’s training mostly took place in Pakistan with Bokhari at his domestic department Wapda’s facilities.
Arshad only trained abroad for a short period, but both times since 2019, he became stranded.
First in China in 2020 with the Covid-19 outbreak, he had to be patient since his plans were brought to a halt due to the global pandemic. Arshad came back to Pakistan and trained at the empty stadium in Lahore. Till he received the confirmation that the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed till 2021.
He returned to his village and only came back to the track earlier in 2021. He said that he had to keep himself mentally strong and motivated as he struggled with getting back in shape. And made a successful comeback in Iran with an 86.38m throw that also turned out to be his season best.
Arshad did what I couldn’t, says coach | The Express Tribune https://t.co/tB0ctxnmrH— usman (@usman86616020) August 11, 2021
Arshad then went to Turkey to train with Kazakhstan coach Viktor Yevsyukov. But again got stranded inTurkey due to the pandemic restrictions. And also contracted the virus, which left him weak. But he did not lose the dream or the motivation to compete at the Olympics.
In Tokyo Arshad qualified for the final as the topper on Group B with a throw of 85.16. Advancing to the final by throwing more than 83.50m, leaving behind many seasoned and top-notch athletes in his group.
“Everybody from home, my parents my village they were happy,” Arshad told the Express Tribune after his performance in the qualification. “My father said that he never felt the tears pouring out the way he did that day. That was the final for him. But I am just happy to be performing for Pakistan at the Olympics.”
Bokhari added that the performance in final, which led Arshad to finish on the fifth spot with an 84.62m as throw, was a good show.
“We did it with limited resources.He did it on his own and with some help from the Athletics Federation of Pakistan president. They supported us, but there is so much more to this performance.
“Arshad’s body did not respond the way we were expecting it to. There was also a lot of heat and he tried his best. It was a good attempt at the Olympics,” said Bokhari.
So #ArshadNadeem and his coach will be home in a few hours…after their run at the #Olympics.— natasha (@NatashaRaheel) August 11, 2021
All those criticizing him, please know there are these fake profiles, he is not a sm buff, he is a simple boy from Mian Chunna dreaming of making #Pak proud.https://t.co/gySPS49IBb
Arsahd and Bokhari are now eyeing the World Athletics Championship.
“Arshad’s throws were not bad by any standard. In fact they were all very competitive. If we look at it from the Asian Games and regional Games perspective, he was among the top 12. This is just the beginning and now he is focusing on the World Athletics Championship. We are going to prepare for that now,” said Bokhari as they both prepare to come home in the wee hours of August 12.