TOKYO – Star javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem kept Pakistan’s hopes of a track and field medal when he qualified for the final at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Wednesday.
Arshad has become the first-ever Pakistani to reach the final of any track and field event in the Olympic Games, hoping to get a medal and break the country’s 29-year-old medal-drought in the Olympics. Pakistan took their last medal in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. The 24-year-old Pakistani athlete is among the top 12 javelin throwers now who will compete for the medals in the final on Saturday.
Arshad’s throw was third-best of the day behind India’s Neeraj Chopra (86.65m) and world leader Germany’s Johannes Vetter (85.64m). Arshad, who once wanted to become a cricket player, said before the Olympics that he was considering a 90m throw at the Tokyo Olympics. The 24-year-old thrower from Punjab province 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.
Speaking to the media after qualifying for the final, Arshad said he was thankful to Almighty Allah and for the support given to him by Pakistanis. He also requested the nation to pray for his success in the final. The athlete also thanked his coach for his tireless efforts in training him for the Olympics.
“We will keep performing like this,” he said, ending with an emphatic “Pakistan Zindabad”. He is also one of the first Pakistani athlete to secure direct qualification for the Olympics, thanks to his gold medal-winning throw at South Asian Games in Nepal in December 2019.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza, Punjab Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti, star cricketers and senior sports officials and entire sports community have congratulated and extended their heartfelt congratulations to Pakistan’s premier javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem for making it through to the men’s javelin throw finals at the Tokyo Olympics.
Japanese Ambassador in Pakistan Matsuda Kuninori also extended his heartfelt congratulations to Arshad saying, “I am truly delighted to see Pakistan’s success in Tokyo Olympics. My sincere congratulations to Arshad Nadeem, his family and people of Pakistan for achieving this amazing success at the Tokyo Olympics and reaching to the medal round. “This is a great moment for all of you to rejoice. I wish him good luck and success for the final”, said the ambassador in his congratulatory message.”
Meanwhile, the United States’ Sydney McLaughlin smashed the world record and Dalilah Muhammad broke it as well in a sensational American 1-2 finish in the women’s 400 hurdles. This race sat on the razor’s edge for sure. McLaughlin came from behind after the last hurdle to claim the gold in 51.46 seconds, quicker than the 51.90 mark she set at the Olympic trials when she was the first woman to run under 52. Muhammad’s time of 51.58 also would have been a world record.
In this race, however, it was only good enough for second. Expect these two to set more records between now and Paris in 2024. McLaughlin, 21, and Muhammad, 31, have been trading the record for two years. Muhammad won the race in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. McLaughlin made the U.S. team but didn’t make the final that year.
In other action on the track at Olympic Stadium, Canada’s Andre de Grasse won the 200-meter race five years after finishing second to Usain Bolt. De Grasse won in a national record time of 19.62 seconds, holding off two Americans for the medals. Kenneth Bednarek won silver in a personal best 19.68 seconds and 2019 world champion Noah Lyles took bronze in 19.74. Erriyon Knighton placed fourth in 19.93.
Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir won gold in the 800 meters to stretch his country’s dominance in the event to four consecutive Olympics. On the basketball court, the US women advanced to the semifinal round with a 79-55 win over Australia behind a 23-point effort from Breanna Stewart. The Americans are now just one win away from playing in their seventh consecutive gold medal game. They will face Serbia on Friday. The Serbians, who won the bronze medal in 2016, beat China 77-70.
The US has won six consecutive gold medals, and 53 consecutive games in Olympic tournaments since 1992. The Americans put on their best game of the tournament from a roster that didn’t get together until about three weeks before the Games. Triston Casas hit his third home run of the Olympics, and the US stayed in gold medal contention with a 3-1 win over the Dominican Republic. Tyler Austin added a solo home run in the fifth, his second long ball of the tournament. The US plays on Thursday night against South Korea, which lost to Japan 5-2, for a berth in this weekend’s gold medal game.
Sakura Yosozumi of Japan won the inaugural Olympic women’s park event in skateboarding, solidifying Japan’s dominance of the sport making its Olympic debut. The silver went to Kokona Hiraki, who at 12 became Japan’s youngest Olympic medalist. Britain’s Sky Brown prevented a Japanese medal sweep, taking the bronze. Japanese skaters also took both golds in the men and women’s street events in the first week of the Tokyo Games.
The US women’s volleyball team advanced to the semifinals for the sixth time in the past eight Olympics by beating the Dominican Republic in straight sets. The Americans advanced to a matchup against Serbia in the semifinals. Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil won the women’s 10-kilometer marathon swimming event in the warm waters of Tokyo Bay.
Italy broke its own world record to win the gold medal in men’s team pursuit cycling. The team of Simone Consonni, Filippo Ganna, Francesco Lamon and Jonathan Milan wiped out a deficit of nearly half a second over the final five laps to beat Denmark and finish in 3:42.032. Russia’s Svetlana Romashina claimed her record sixth Olympic gold medal in artistic swimming, teaming with Svetlana Kolesnichenko to win the duet.
Rank Team Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 China 32 22 16 70
2 US 25 31 23 79
3 Japan 21 7 12 40
4 Britain 15 18 15 48
5 Australia 15 4 17 36
6 ROC 14 21 18 53
7 Germany 8 8 16 32
8 France 6 10 9 25
9 Italy 6 9 15 30
10 Netherlands 6 8 9 23