Lahore, Sept 1 (IANS) In the recently-concluded World Athletics Championship, Arshad Nadeem of Pakistan won the silver medal in the final, whereas India’s Neeraj Chopra won the gold medal scripting history for India. Talking exclusively to BBC, Nadeem reflected on the Championship tour and his bonding with Neeraj.
“Neeraj bhai won the gold medal and I am very happy that both countries from Asia clinched the top two spots. Sometimes he will win the gold, sometimes I will so it will continue like this but I am very happy that Neeraj got the gold medal.”
“I went to Guwahati, India for South-Asian Games and won the bronze medal there. Neeraj got the gold medal that time. I also broke the previous National Record in men’s javelin throw. As we played more games together, we came close, and our friendship bond got stronger.”
Arshad also expressed his gratitude towards Neeraj’s mother who previously congratulated the Pakistani thrower on winning the medal and called him like a son too.
Arshad said, “Rumours aside whatever they say that Pakistan did this or India did this, thoughts like these hold both the nations together and give us the positive energy to perform well in the tournament. I sincerely congratulate Neeraj’s mother and also the whole of India for the achievement.”
Soon after the final results, a picture went viral of all three medalists together in which Arshad was not seen with his country flag. Talking about it Arshad told BBC, “After the final throw, I was packing my bag as we carry lots of stuff. Neeraj called me for the photoshoot and I just went.”
“My flag was with me but since Neeraj called me, I thought of just going. Later, I got clicked with my National flag also. The pressure of a big tournament is always there, players from across the world compete against you, so it’s never easy to perform.” he added.
On being asked if Neeraj Chopra is his biggest competitor, Arshad cleared it by saying, “Arshad Nadeem is the only competitor to Arshad Nadeem”.
Further, he added, “I always look to beat myself; I never look to anyone else. I always want to give my best and do better than the previous throw.”
Arshad also highlighted the problems he faces which somehow prevents him from giving his best. He talked about the facilities and coaching that he lacks on the National level.
“Neeraj gets the world-class facilities and training; we don’t get that. Our government does provide us with the facilities but that’s not enough. Athletes here don’t even have proper ground to practice. I had a few World level Javelin that I use in my training, but apart from this, we need many things that we don’t get.”
“Apart from these things we also need a better coach who can train us well. If we get these facilities here we can do our training from Pakistan also. Paris Olympics is next year so I hope I will win gold there I also wish the best of luck to Neeraj bhai and I wish him to share the podium with me.” he added.