Pak javelin thrower Nadeem wants to be like Neeraj

Jakarta: In awe of Neeraj Chopra, Pakistan’s cricketer-turned-javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem hopes to emulate the Indian star someday even though he acknowledges that the gulf between them is too huge. Nadeem settled for a bronze with a personal best of 80.75m at the ongoing Asian Games, where Neeraj was the undisputed star of the field with a national record throw of 88.06m on Monday. The 20-year-old from Khanewal in Pakistan Punjab is aware that he has got a mountain to climb.

‘Neeraj is an amazing talent’

“Neeraj is an amazing talent. I have competed with him about eight times now including the SAFF Championships in India and Asian Junior Championships. But he has a foreign coach and I don’t. His achievements inspire me and my goal is to emulate him one day,” Nadeem said.

Arshad was like Sohail Tanvir

The imposing Pakistani played U-17 cricket at the state level before picking up the javelin three years ago. He used to be a fast bowler, using both his arms while running in like Pakistan left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir. “I used both my arms but I was a right-hand fast bowler, unlike Tanvir bhai. Like India, cricket is big in Pakistan but then I was introduced to javelin three years ago and ever since I have stopped following cricket,” he said.

Indian champ doesn’t talk to him

Nadeem wants to discuss the tricks of the trade with the Indian but says Neeraj is not very forthcoming. “It was a memorable trip. We came to Amritsar from Lahore by road. Aap log badi khatir or izzat karte ho (you people are great hosts). I would love to compete in India again,” Nadeem added.

Chopra leaves for Diamond League Final

Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra on Tuesday left for Zurich, hours after clinching a historic gold in the Asian Games, to take part in the prestigious Diamond League Final on August 30. “Yes, he has left Jakarta for Zurich to take part in the Diamond League Final. He has to leave hours after winning the gold (in Asian Games),” an official from the Indian team said.