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KARACHI: Asian Pakistan’s Games bronze winner Arshad Nadeem became the first athlete from the nation to seal his place in the Olympics final as he won Group B of the javelin throw event with an 85.16m throw.
The 24-year-old is among the top 12 javelin throwers currently who will fight for the medals on Saturday, August 7 in the final.
The participants were to throw at least 83.50m to proceed into the final or place among top 12 competitors over all.
Germany’s Johannes Vetter is being hailed as the favorites to win gold, but Arshad had expected a close fight.
Arshad’s buddy and Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra led Group A in the event with a throw of 86.65m, making it a South Asian dominated event, a rare situation in the Olympics athletics program.
Arshad is the final athlete to be participating for Pakistan at the Olympics in Tokyo, trying to earn a medal and break the country’s 29-year-old medal-drought in the Olympics. Pakistan got its last medal at Olympics in the 1992 Barcelona Games.
“I am exercising in Tokyo also, in the morning and afternoon. I know there is going to be stiff competition and everyone wants to be the best,” Arshad had told The Express Tribune as he disclosed that he is put in Group B of the javelin throw qualification phase that will take place on August 4 and then the final on August 7.
“My objective is to earn the medal, my goal is to go into the final. The Group B is looking tough, every thrower wants just one thing and that is to get through. I want to return home with my head held high. I want to make Pakistan proud. I just need to perform the best I am capable of here in Tokyo.”
Arshad is also the first Pakistani to directly qualify for the Olympics. He did so via the 2019 South Asian Games in Nepal.
‘A fantastic occasion to rejoice’
Japanese Ambassador in Pakistan Matsuda Kuninori also conveyed his sincere congratulations to Arshad for qualifying for the final of men’s javelin throw competition at the Tokyo Olympics with a magnificent throw of 85.16m.
“I am genuinely happy to watch Pakistan’s triumph in Tokyo Olympics. My warmest congratulations to Arshad Nadeem, his family and the people of Pakistan for accomplishing this remarkable accomplishment at the Tokyo Olympics and advancing to the medal round.
“This is a fantastic moment for all of you to rejoice. I wish him good luck and success for the final”, stated the ambassador in his congratulations letter.