Pakistan’s javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem wished Neeraj Chopra a speedy recovery and said that he will miss competing against the Olympic gold medalist. Neeraj won a historic silver at the World Championships last month with a throw of 88.13m, as Arshad finished fifth after becoming the first Pakistani to qualify for the final.
Arshad told PTI, “Neeraj bhai is my brother. I miss him here. God bless him and give me a chance to fight him soon.”
The ‘bromance’ between the Indo-Pak rivals has been going on since their participation in the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati.
Four years ago, when Neeraj won gold and Arshad won bronze at the Asian Games, the Indian had not shown a whole lot of warmth towards the Pakistani athlete, but that is not the case now.
“He’s a nice person. Initially, you’re a little reserved. When you get to know each other, you open up.
“We have a very good friendship. I hope he continues to perform for India and I keep performing for my country. We both have made an impact. We are like a family,” said the 25-year-old.
Finishing fifth at the Worlds was a credible end for Arshad who made a comeback from injury after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He is still suffering the same elbow injury.
“After the Tokyo Olympics, I competed in the world after a long hiatus, I feel good about my sport. I have an elbow injury and it is being treated.”
Neeraj’s personal best of 89.94m is slightly off 90m while Arshad’s best is 86.38.
“The way the coaches are looking and the way I feel about my game, I have set myself a target of 95m,” Arshad sounded optimistic.
Neeraj’s gold in Olympics captured the imagination of the entire nation and made him an overnight star. Arshad has a long way to go but he says that he too is getting a lot of support from his government.
Arshad, who hopes to compete again in India soon, said, “The way Neeraj bhai has got a lot of fame in your country, I have got a lot of support from my government and people. I am really grateful for that. ”
Earlier, Neeraj Chopra was ruled out of the competition in Birmingham due to a groin strain. Arshad, on the other hand, is one of the major contenders for the podium finish.