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Neeraj Chopra extends support on Arshad Nadeem’s javelin struggles

Known for their friendly nature and team spirit away from the sport, Arshad Nadeem of Pakistan and India’s Neeraj Chopra have made a name for themselves as both fierce opponents and great friends in the world of javelin. These two are not just top-tier athletes in their field but they also embody an ideal friendship. Both Nadeem and Chopra are gearing up for the upcoming outdoor season.

Neeraj Chopra is currently sharpening his skills in Turkey, while 27-year-old Nadeem has faced a setback. Nadeem disclosed his long-standing difficulty in obtaining a world-class javelin, which he has needed for the last seven to eight years. Chopra, who holds the world title and is the reigning Olympic champion, was taken aback upon hearing Nadeem’s struggle to acquire a new javelin.

During a recent conversation with SAI Media, he expressed disbelief that someone of Nadeem’s standing would face such an issue. Before the Paris Olympics, Nadeem reached out to my coach and the national federation to arrange for the repair of the broken javelin. Back in 2015, Nadeem acquired a javelin when he started participating in competitions worldwide.

Nadeem emphasized the importance of having the correct equipment and training facilities as an athlete striving to win an Olympic medal. A second-place finisher in Budapest behind Chopra, Nadeem recently told the press about his damaged javelin and his appeals to his national federation and coach for better equipment before the Paris Olympics. He emphasized the necessity of proper gear and training facilities for an international athlete targeting an Olympic medal.

Arshad Nadeem hopes fully equipped at Paris Olympics 2024

Recognizing that all his training and international competitions are covered by the Indian Sports Ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme, Chopra believes that Nadeem, as Pakistan’s star athlete, deserves the same kind of support. At the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Nadeem threw a record-breaking 90.18 meters, ending Pakistan’s 60-year wait for a gold medal in the sport.

Chopra convinced that Nadeem could afford a javelin through his winnings and potential endorsements, suggests that both sponsorship and governmental support should be readily available to him. Chopra even suggested that manufacturers would likely jump at the chance to endorse a stellar athlete like Nadeem. He hopes that, between sponsorships and government aid, Nadeem will arrive at the Paris Olympics fully equipped.

Assuming Nadeem recuperates fully from his elbow surgery in the UK last December and the knee injury that kept him out of the Hangzhou Asian Games – which Chopra won – the javelin event in Paris could feature a strong contingent from Asia. The outdoor season is set to kick off with the Doha leg of the Diamond League in May, where these athletes will be looking to showcase their prowess.

Arshad Nadeem’s career

Arshad Nadeem is a renowned javelin thrower from Pakistan, and he competes domestically for WAPDA. He made history by being the first Pakistani to reach the final round of an Olympic Games and World Athletics Championships track and field event. During the 2022 Commonwealth Games, he achieved a momentous record for both Pakistan and the Games by hurling the javelin an impressive 90.18 meters, also marking the first time a South Asian athlete had thrown over 90 meters.

 In 2023, Nadeem continued his success, gaining a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships, a first for a Pakistani athlete. On August 7, 2022, he earned a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, setting a new event record with his fifth attempt despite an injury. His 90.18-meter throw not only outdid the World Champion Anderson Peters who threw 88.64 meters but also made him the first athlete from South Asia to surpass the 90-meter threshold.

This victory represented Pakistan’s first athletic gold in the Games since 1962. However, Nadeem suffered a setback when he sustained a knee injury at the National Games of Pakistan, which he won. The injury sidelined him from the Asian Athletics Championships, causing the head of the Athletics Federation of Pakistan, Akram Sahi, to criticize WAPDA for insisting Nadeem compete in the National Games despite the risk. Nadeem’s medal-winning throw at the Budapest World Athletics Championships in 2023 was a notable 87.82 meters.

This event not only granted Pakistan its first medal at these championships but also guaranteed its place in the 2024 Summer Olympics. Nadeem began participating in javelin throw competitions in 2015 and received a boost in 2016 with a World Athletics scholarship, which enabled him to train at the IAAF High-Performance Training Centre in Mauritius.

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Pushkar Pandey

Pushkar is a sports writer and covers sports topics. He is employed at the sports divisions of sportslumo and statjunction in the US Olympics section. His writing is captivating when it comes to covering sports activities like running, swimming, and gymnastics.