When Arshad Nadeem arrived in Birmingham on July 30 to participate in the Commonwealth Games, no one expected gold from him. The fact that he was suffering from an elbow injury was far less distressing than the fact that he was not accompanied by any coach to assist him at the mega event. Yet, he created history in the event.
With a throw of 90.18 metres in the final, he not only won Pakistan’s first-ever gold medal in the javelin throw competition but also set a new record in Commonwealth Games history, that too with an injured elbow but unwavering determination.
With his remarkable feat, Arshad became the first South Asian athlete to manage above 90 metres throw in the Javelin. Pakistan won its first gold in Commonwealth Games athletics after a gap of 60 years. Earlier in the 1962 Perth Commonwealth Games, Pakistani athlete Ghulam Raziq won the gold medal in the 120 yards hurdles.
In the Javelin throw final, Arshad had to compete against Anderson Peters, the reigning world champion from Grenada, the biggest obstacle between him and the gold medal.
The Pakistani athlete’s first throw stunned everyone as he was dominating the competition after the first four rounds. He was sailing comfortably towards the victory when Peters dampened his enthusiasm in the final round with a throw of 88.64 metres.
Hopes were dashed and the gold medal seemed to be a distant dream before Arshad Nadeem turned the tables in his final throw. He gathered the courage, defied the injury and threw the javelin with all his force to breach the 90 metres mark.
When the javelin throw final started, Arshad recorded his personal best with 86.81 meters throw in the first round. His second attempt went unsuccessful due to a foul. In the third attempt, Arshad then bettered his own record by throwing the javelin 88 meters away, but what he did in the fifth throw was just unimaginable.
Pakistan bagged eight medals overall in the Commonwealth Games 2022 held in Birmingham. Shah Hussain Shah won Pakistan’s first medal in Judo. Muhammad Nooh Dastgir Butt claimed gold in weightlifting while Arshad Nadeem won gold in the javelin. Five medals were won by Pakistan in various wrestling competitions as well.