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How Neeraj Chopra and Arshad Nadeem bond over beating Europeans

Arshad Nadeem says that he and Neeraj Chopra speak to each other about their happiness at an Indian and a Pakistani coming to the fore in an event usually dominated by Europeans.

How Neeraj Chopra and Arshad Nadeem bond over beating Europeans

Neeraj Chopra and Arshad Nadeem congratulate each other after winning the gold and silver medals at the 2023 World Athletics Championships (Screenshot)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 29 Aug 2023 12:18 PM GMT

While Neeraj Chopra's rivalry with Arshad Nadeem has been the biggest sports headline of the last few days, the Indian and Pakistani javelin throwers said they are united in their happiness at coming to the fore in a sports event which has always been dominated by Europeans.

When Neeraj Chopra was crowned the javelin world champion in the 2023 World Athletics Championships on Sunday night, one of the first people who spoke to him was Arshad, the silver medallist.

Soon after the two other Indian javelin throwers DP Manu and Kishore Jena had run over to Neeraj to congratulate him, the Indian and Pakistani found themselves in front of each other. Nadeem congratulated him as the two hugged, and just as he was preparing to make way for the other athletes to converge on Neeraj, the Indian drew his attention and said something to him.

Speaking a day after the event, Arshad Nadeem said, "Neeraj and I have a very healthy competition and we respect each other a lot. There is no Pakistan-India rivalry in a bad way. When we talk, we are just happy that both of us have come to the fore in a competition usually dominated by Europeans.

"It is a very satisfying achievement for me to get a distance of 87.82 metres as I returned to international competition after nearly a year due to my elbow surgery," he said, according to PTI.

After the final on Sunday, Chopra made it a point to invite his Pakistani rival to go on a victory lap.

Even Neeraj Chopra's mother, asked to speak on her happiness at her son 'beating a Pakistani' in the javelin final, doused water on the invitation to give a partisan reply.

“Look, everyone has come to play in the field. One or the other will definitely win. So there is no question of being from Pakistan or Haryana. I am happy for player who won from Pakistan as well,” Neeraj's mother Saroj Devi said at a press meet.

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