In a heartwarming gesture, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Saturday, congratulated Pakistan's star javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem who clinched the gold medal at the South Asian Games with a throw of 86.29 metres in the men's final event of javelin throw. Nadeem also becomes first Pakistani athlete in decades to earn direct qualification at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The AFI took to Twitter to wishing the best Nadeem. They posted: "Congrats #ArshadNadeem, javelin star of #Pakistan for winning gold at #SAGames2019 with a throw of 86.48m (PB & New Pakistani record) Qualified for #Tokyo2020 Olympics, first Pakistani athlete in decades to earn direct qualification. Photo- @Neeraj_chopra1 & Arshad at 2018AG"
In the finals event today, India's Shivpal Singh won the silver 84.16 metres. Nadeem's throw earned him a personal best as well as the national record of Pakistan. Shivpal, whose personal best throw is 86.23 metres, achieved the feat at the 2019 Asian Championships in Doha. He also recently won the gold at World Military Games.
During the Asian Games 2018, Pakistan's cricketer-turned-javelin thrower Nadeem had mentioned that he is in awe of India's ace javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and hoped to emulate him someday. Neeraj, who is recovering from an injury had won the gold at Asian Games in Jakarta with a throw of 88.06 metres, while Nadeem settled for a bronze with a personal best of 80.75 metres.