Monday Aug 09 2021

Undeterred by recent loss, Arshad Nadeem vows to win medal in 2024 Olympics

Pakistan’s star javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem.
Pakistan’s star javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem.

  • Arshad Nadeem thanks nation for supporting him in Tokyo Olympics.
  • Arshad Nadeem says he has learnt a lot from recent experience and vowed to win a medal for the country in Paris Olympics.
  • “When I did my third throw which returned with a result of 84.62 metre, I felt dizzy and could not see anything," says Arshad.   

KARACHI: Thanking the nation for supporting him in the Tokyo Olympics, Pakistan’s star javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem said he had learnt a lot from his recent experience and vowed to win a medal for the country in the Paris Olympics scheduled to be held in 2024, The News reported Monday.

In an interview from Tokyo on Sunday, Arshad Nadeem told The News, “In sports it happens. I tried my level best and knew that the whole nation was backing me at home. I made a huge effort but could not live up to the expectations.”

Arshad Nadeem, with a throw of 84.62 metres, finished fifth in the javelin throw final of the Tokyo Olympics. it marked a huge achievement for the Pakistani athlete, who was featuring in his maiden Olympics.

“No doubt I was feeling the pressure. The whole nation was backing me,” he added.

“It was definitely in my mind that I should not return without a medal but luck did not favour me and it has really disappointed me also.”

Arshad, a bronze medallist of the 2018 Asian Games, said his body did not respond properly and that upset him during the finals.

“There were two major reasons for my bad performance in the finals. It was very hot. And the other thing was that my body did not respond. It happened with me for the first time in my career. I don’t know why it happened,” he added.

“When I did my third throw which returned with a result of 84.62 metres, I felt dizzy and I could not see anything. I don’t know why it happened as I hadn’t experienced such a thing in the past," he said. 

“After that, I went all out but my throws were not going the distance and I don’t know why it happened to me,” he added.

“Now there is a World Championship next year and the Asian Games, and lots of other events are coming up. Insha'Allah, I will pull off the desired performances,” Arshad said.

“It was a huge loss in Tokyo. But you see not a single athlete could pull off his best. In the finals too there was tough competition. Even Germany’s Johannes Vetter, the World No1, failed to qualify for the last eight athletes in the finals," said Arshad Nadeem. 

The Pakistani Olympian said that it was his first Olympics and others in the competition were from developed countries, while he wasn't.

"I am from a village with no facilities. I am trying to get myself back and Insha'Allah I pledge that I will work harder and show more resolve in future to win a big title for the country," he added. 

He said, “When you lose it helps you learn and it makes you stronger and Insha'Allah I will come back stronger. I will try my level best now to adapt myself as a professional athlete. I will now try to become more professional, train more professionally and in future I will show more confidence and pull off superb performances.”

When asked what had happened when he did not realise that it was his turn when he had to throw for the sixth and last time in the finals, Arshad said he was thinking about not disappointing his nation.

“Yes, it is true. Time was ticking and I was lost in my thoughts, not knowing that it was my turn. I was planning to do my best throw and win a medal and to not disappoint my nation," he said. 

"A competition official, a lady, came to me and told me that it was my turn. I hastily rushed to the mark and started run-up and resultantly it was a foul. I did not even listen to my coach and doctor who were shouting to me that it was my turn," he added. 

"And when I threw and knew that I lost my goal I was not in senses and was deeply sad. I was sad because the whole nation was praying for me and I could not live up to the nation’s expectations,” Arshad said.

India’s Neeraj Chopra, who won gold with an 87.58 metre throw, met Arshad during the closing ceremony on Sunday.

“When we were going for the closing ceremony, Chopra came to me and said that it was bad luck that I did not manage a good throw in the finals,” Arshad said.