Pakistan’s hopes of winning its first gold medal of the Hangzhou 2023 Asian Games suffered a blow after javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem was reportedly ruled out due to injury.
The javelin thrower is one of the biggest names in the Pakistani contingent, and was expected to contend for a gold medal with India’s Olympic and world champion Neeraj Chopra.
However, media reports in Pakistan said that just 24 hours before he was due to compete in Hangzhou, the javelin thrower had pulled out due to a knee injury. The reports cited a statement from the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), which was attributed to the Pakistan’s chef de mission for the 2023 Asian Games. Arshad’s name though is still in the startlist for the javelin throw event.
The reports, on the websites of organisations like Geo TV, added that he had complained of pain in his knees after first training session in the Chinese city.
“After arrival at Hangzhou at the first training session on September 27, 2023, Arshad Nadeem revealed and complained to Dr Asad Abbas who was accompanying him that he has been grappling with persistent pain for several months, a concern that has become particularly pressing in the aftermath of the World Athletics Championship,” the statement said. “On October 2, he again complained of pain in the right knee and expressed a desire to undergo an evaluation to determine the impact on his ability to participate in the javelin throw event. The Chief Medical Officer of the Pakistan Contingent recommended a comprehensive check-up. Arshad underwent a thorough medical examination, including a non-invasive test i.e. MRI at a local hospital in Hangzhou. The MRI revealed a chronic injury which he has been carrying.”
At the recent World Athletics Championships in Budapest, India’s Neeraj had claimed the gold medal with a best throw of 88.17m while Arshad was second with a 87.82m heave.
At the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, when Neeraj had claimed a gold medal while Arshad had claimed bronze.