Tokyo: Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem, who finished fifth in Olympic men’s javelin throw, congratulated India’s Neeraj Chopra on winning gold medal in Saturday’s competition and also apologised to his nation for not fulfulling their hopes of a medal.
Nadeem was Pakistan’s biggest medal hope at the Olympics but his best throw of 84.62 wasn’t good enough for a medal. Chopra won gold with a best throw of 87.58. The silver and bronze medals went to Czech Republic while the fourth place went to Germany.
“Congratulations to #NeerajChopra for winning first place [emoticon: gold medal] #JavelinThrow competition in #TokyoOlympics,” tweeted the 24-year-old Nadeem who considers 23-year-old Chopra as his role medal.
Prior to the competition, he had tweeted a picture of himself and Chopra at the podium of the 2018 Asian Games where the Indian won gold and the Pakistani won bronze.
In separate tweets in Urdu, Nadeem apologised to the Pakistani public.
“Maazrat, aawaam ki ummeedon par poora nahin utar saka (Apologies, I couldn’t fulfill the nation’s hopes),” he tweeted.
He then thanked his parents, the public and hinted that preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games weren’t as good as he would have liked.
“Mere waalden aur Pakistan ki aawaam ka bohot shukriya jinki duaaon se aaj iss maqaam tak pohoncha. Insha Allah agli baar bharpoor tayyari ke saath Olympics me shirkat karoonga (Very thankful to parents and Pakistani public, whose prayers enabled to me to reach this stage. God willing, next time, I will participate at the Olympics with full preparations),” Nadeem tweeted.
His father Muhammed Ashraf, who works as a mason, has had to bear expenses of training and travel to big Pakistani cities for competition. Ashraf had, in the past, often sought support from his country and province’s governments, who, according to him, haven’t been keen on providing it.
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