Arshad Nadeem advanced to the final of the men’s javelin with a throw of 85.16 meters on Wednesday, keeping Pakistan’s prospects of winning a medal at the Tokyo Olympics alive.
As a result of his achievement, he became the first Pakistani to qualify for an Olympic final in any track and field event.
Behind India’s Neeraj Chopra (86.65m) and world leader Germany’s Johannes Vetter, Nadeem’s throw was the third-best of the day (85.64m).
The 24-year-old thrower from Khanewal won his group and a spot in the medal round, finishing ahead of Germany’s Julian Weber and Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch, a performance that drew his coach out of his seat to clap.
Lassi Eteltalo of Finland will join Nadeem in the medal round after his first effort of 84.50m, a season’s best, qualified him.
Nadeem expressed his gratitude for the support he received from Pakistanis to the media after qualifying for the final. He also asked for additional prayers from the nation so that he could produce a great performance in the final.
The Olympian also expressed gratitude to his coach for his continuous work in preparing him for the Games. “We’ll keep performing like this,” he concluded with a resounding “Pakistan Zindabad.”
Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago, the 2012 Olympic champion and bronze medalist in Rio five years ago, was unable to advance, falling short with a throw of 79.33 meters.
Nadeem has a personal best throw of 86.38 meters, which he set in April at the Imam Raza Athletics Cup in Iran, where he won the gold medal.
He is one of the few Pakistani athletes to secure direct qualification for the Olympics, thanks to his gold medal-winning throw at the South Asian Games in December 2019.