History-making javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem makes another record as he hit the 88.55m mark and won Pakistan their first medal at the Islamic Solidarity Games in Konya, Turkey.
Arshad also became the first Pakistani track and field athlete to win a gold medal at the Games.
He made the record despite living through a very painful and longstanding elbow injury, along with a soft tissue trauma in the knee that has been troubling him for the last few months.
The 25-year-old made a huge leap from his last appearance at the Games in 2017 to now. In 2017, he threw 76.66m. But now this is his back-to-back stellar performance this month.
Earlier, he won the Commonwealth Games gold medal and created history at the Games by becoming the first South Asian to cross the 90m barrier. His spear landed 90.18m to make the Games record.
Continuing in the same stream, Arshad made another record, now in Konya, just five days after his performance in Birmingham.
“It is not fine,” Arshad told The Express Tribune in a brief interaction before his event in Konya when asked about how he is dealing with his elbow pain. “It is hurting the same way still.” Arshad had been treated by the doctors regularly for his injuries.
When asked about the preparation, he added that it is not very well. “There has not been any improvement since Commonwealth Games,” said Arshad. Qatar’s Ahmed Bader Magour, who won the gold medal in 2017, finished with a silver medal at the Games in Konya.
Arshad has been competing in the events without his coach as well. He first competed in the World Athletics Championships, then the Commonwealth Games and now at the Islamic Games, all without his personal coaches.
He trained in South Africa with Terseus Liebenberg for two months and then with Salman Butt in Lahore without proper gyms and facilities, before embarking on his history-making international outings. Islamic Solidarity Games take place every four years. Pakistan have won four gold medals now, and 15 in total including three silver and nine bronze.
This is the fifth edition of the Games and there are 55 nations, featuring 4,200 athletes in 19 sports and 380 events from August 8 till August 12. The top contenders in the Games for the most gold medals are hosts Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran.