Olympian Arshad Nadeem will directly play the final of the 2022 Commonwealth Games men’s javelin throw event, without appearing in the qualifying round, he confirmed to The Express Tribune on Tuesday morning.
The medal hopeful for Pakistan, Arshad has been training and recovering from his injuries in elbow and knee. He will now be on the field on August 7 directly and not in the qualifier on August 5.
“Yes, I’ll be directly playing the final, so I am focused on just that now,” Arshad told The Express Tribune from Birmingham while he was busy with his training.
The 25-year-old came to England for the Games after finishing as the fifth best player with a throw of 86.16m at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
He became the first Pakistani to qualify for the World Athletic Championship finals.
Arshad’s physician and Pakistan Olympic Association medical committee member Dr Asad Abbas told The Express Tribune that the reason for Arshad not playing the qualifying round is the decreased number of athletes in the event.
“This happens sometimes that the athletes withdraw from the event and so the decreased number of athletes becomes the cause of not playing the qualifying round,” explained Dr Abbas.
He said that there might be 14 competitors now in the event. The Express Tribune wrote to the Commonwealth Games Federation but did not receive a reply on why the athletes are directly playing the final now at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, when asked about Arshad's chances of bagging a medal, Dr Abbas was positive that the 2018 Asian Games bronze medallist is a top contender, but it depends on the day and the pain management. He is playing with a longstanding injury in the elbow and now a ‘soft tissue trauma’ in his knee.
“It depends on the day, how he is doing and if the pain is relieved, but he can bag a medal. He has all the potential and if he was a 100 percent fit, he would be at the top. I am working with him each day, bracing, taping him, doing his physiotherapy, so far he is 80 to 85 percent better than before,” he said.
Dr Abbas further explained that after surgery for his injuries, Arshad will take at least four to five months to recover.