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Arshad Excited for His First Diamond League Appearance

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"It is going to be my first Diamond League; I've never competed in this before," humbly admitted Pakistan's javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem, who is seen as the country's main medal hope for the Paris Olympics. This upcoming Sunday, at the Meeting de Paris, Arshad will become the first Pakistani athlete to compete in the prestigious Diamond League. The Diamond League is an elite athletic invitational series held annually across five continents, where athletes earn points to qualify for the season-ending final, where champions in each discipline are crowned. The Paris meet marks the eighth leg of this 15th edition, and it will be historic as it features a Pakistani athlete for the first time. Arshad's journey to this point is remarkable. Despite Pakistan's limited facilities for track and field athletes, he has consistently excelled, breaking barriers and setting records. His participation in the Diamond League is a testament to his dedication and talent. Arshad is returning to competition after almost a year, following his impressive performance at the 2023 World Athletics Championship in Budapest. There, he became the first Pakistani to win a silver medal at the event, with a throw of 87.82 meters, securing a spot in the Paris Olympics. This achievement came despite battling injuries, including a knee injury that had kept him from competing in the Asian Games. As he prepares for the Paris meet, Arshad views it as a critical test ahead of the Olympics. "The Paris event will be a test really; I've just recovered from an injury," he said. His ultimate goal is to end Pakistan's 32-year Olympic medal drought. After undergoing a laser procedure in England to address his knee injury in December, Arshad resumed training in February under the guidance of his coach, Salman Butt. Despite facing another injury—a muscle strain below his right knee just before Eidul Azha—Arshad adjusted his plans and focused on recovery. The journey to Paris was not straightforward. Arshad had a multiple entry visa for the Schengen region and initially planned to compete in Finland before heading to Paris. However, due to his recovery process, he skipped the Finland event and traveled directly to Paris, a journey that proved exhausting. Upon arriving in Paris, Arshad was pleased with the favorable weather conditions, which contrasted sharply with the heat waves back home in Pakistan. "I am adjusting here in Paris now; the weather is far better than what we had back home, so I am enjoying training in that," he explained. Arshad's participation in competitions is crucial for building confidence and assessing his capabilities. "I just wanted to get competitions because I need to know where I stand," he emphasized. He is focused on testing his performance and ensuring he is in top form for the Olympics. At the Diamond League meet, Arshad will face eight top competitors, each getting six attempts. He is cautiously optimistic, aiming to balance his best performance with careful consideration of his recent injury. "If there were no Olympics and just the meet, then I would've probably strategized things differently, but for now the aim is to test the waters," he said. Arshad's personal best is 90.18 meters, and he competes primarily with himself, focusing on his performance while being aware of his competitors. He acknowledges that Germany's Julian Weber and Czech thrower Jakub Vadlejch will be strong competitors at the Paris meet. Earlier this year, Arshad trained in South Africa with coach Terseus Liebenberg, focusing on improving his run-up and technique. This experience has made a significant difference, and he continues to receive guidance from Liebenberg remotely. Despite the challenges of training in Pakistan's extreme heat, Arshad adapted his schedule to cooler times of the day. He is grateful for the support he has received and urges his fans to keep him in their prayers. "Please, keep me in your prayers for this event and also the Paris Olympics because that is the ultimate dream that I need to fulfill for Pakistan," he said. Arshad narrowly missed out on a medal at the Tokyo Games in 2021, but he is determined to succeed this time. His message to his supporters is clear: "Pray for my success, please."

“It is going to be my first Diamond League; I’ve never competed in this before,” humbly admitted Pakistan’s javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem, who is seen as the country’s main medal hope for the Paris Olympics. This upcoming Sunday, at the Meeting de Paris, Arshad will become the first Pakistani athlete to compete in the prestigious Diamond League.

The Diamond League is an elite athletic invitational series held annually across five continents, where athletes earn points to qualify for the season-ending final, where champions in each discipline are crowned. The Paris meet marks the eighth leg of this 15th edition, and it will be historic as it features a Pakistani athlete for the first time.

Arshad’s journey to this point is remarkable. Despite Pakistan’s limited facilities for track and field athletes, he has consistently excelled, breaking barriers and setting records. His participation in the Diamond League is a testament to his dedication and talent.

Arshad is returning to competition after almost a year, following his impressive performance at the 2023 World Athletics Championship in Budapest. There, he became the first Pakistani to win a silver medal at the event, with a throw of 87.82 meters, securing a spot in the Paris Olympics. This achievement came despite battling injuries, including a knee injury that had kept him from competing in the Asian Games.

As he prepares for the Paris meet, Arshad views it as a critical test ahead of the Olympics. “The Paris event will be a test really; I’ve just recovered from an injury,” he said. His ultimate goal is to end Pakistan’s 32-year Olympic medal drought.

After undergoing a laser procedure in England to address his knee injury in December, Arshad resumed training in February under the guidance of his coach, Salman Butt. Despite facing another injury—a muscle strain below his right knee just before Eidul Azha—Arshad adjusted his plans and focused on recovery.

The journey to Paris was not straightforward. Arshad had a multiple entry visa for the Schengen region and initially planned to compete in Finland before heading to Paris. However, due to his recovery process, he skipped the Finland event and traveled directly to Paris, a journey that proved exhausting.

Upon arriving in Paris, Arshad was pleased with the favorable weather conditions, which contrasted sharply with the heat waves back home in Pakistan. “I am adjusting here in Paris now; the weather is far better than what we had back home, so I am enjoying training in that,” he explained.

Arshad’s participation in competitions is crucial for building confidence and assessing his capabilities. “I just wanted to get competitions because I need to know where I stand,” he emphasized. He is focused on testing his performance and ensuring he is in top form for the Olympics.

At the Diamond League meet, Arshad will face eight top competitors, each getting six attempts. He is cautiously optimistic, aiming to balance his best performance with careful consideration of his recent injury. “If there were no Olympics and just the meet, then I would’ve probably strategized things differently, but for now the aim is to test the waters,” he said.

Arshad’s personal best is 90.18 meters, and he competes primarily with himself, focusing on his performance while being aware of his competitors. He acknowledges that Germany’s Julian Weber and Czech thrower Jakub Vadlejch will be strong competitors at the Paris meet.

Earlier this year, Arshad trained in South Africa with coach Terseus Liebenberg, focusing on improving his run-up and technique. This experience has made a significant difference, and he continues to receive guidance from Liebenberg remotely.

Despite the challenges of training in Pakistan’s extreme heat, Arshad adapted his schedule to cooler times of the day. He is grateful for the support he has received and urges his fans to keep him in their prayers. “Please, keep me in your prayers for this event and also the Paris Olympics because that is the ultimate dream that I need to fulfill for Pakistan,” he said.

Arshad narrowly missed out on a medal at the Tokyo Games in 2021, but he is determined to succeed this time. His message to his supporters is clear: “Pray for my success, please.”