Pakistanis were all praises for Arshad Nadeem on Wednesday after he went through to the final of the men’s javelin at the Tokyo Olympics with a throw of 85.16 metres.
Nadeem’s throw was third-best of the day behind India’s Neeraj Chopra (86.65m) and world leader Germany’s Johannes Vetter (85.64m).
The 24-year-old thrower from Khanewal finished above Germany’s Julian Weber and Czech’s Jakub Vadlejch to win his group and a place in the medal round — a performance that got his coach out of his seat applauding.
Even though the event was aired before 7am Pakistan Standard Time, Nadeem’s performance was quick to garner the attention of netizens, who prayed for the athlete to bring home a gold medal in the final scheduled for August 7.
Cricketer Shahid Afridi called him “a great athlete” and wished him the best for his road ahead.
Journalist Ajmal Jami kept it simple, saying it was “great news to start your day with”.
“From Mian Channu to Tokyo … Arshad Nadeem qualifies for the javelin throw final … grit written all on his face,” said PTI MNA Andleeb Abbas.
Martial arts champion Kulsoom Hazara called it a “brilliant performance” and wished Nadeem best of luck for the final. “We are proud of you!”
“A new hero is born,” said anchorperson Rauf Klasra.
The official Twitter account for the ruling PTI also congratulated Nadeem and wished him luck for the final.
“[Nadeem] is considered to be one of the finest javelin throwers in South Asia. His personal best — a throw of 86.38 — is among of the top 10 throws of the season. Wish you all the best,” said PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan.
Former reality TV host Waqar Zaka — who had earlier pledged to give Nadeem $5,000 if he managed to secure a medal at the Olympics — called it a “super performance”.
He also offered words of advice for “influencers”, saying : “We should keep posting about Olympic 2020 to create awareness.”
“This is so, so, so GOOD!!” said PCB official Emmad Hameed.