Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem finished above Germany’s Julian Webber and Czech’s Jakub Vadlejch to win his group and a place in the final of the men’s javelin with an 85.16 throw, a performance that got his coach out of his seat applauding.
Vadlejch produced a personal best throw of 84.93m guaranteeing him a place in the final on Saturday. Germany’s Julian Weber, punched his place into the medal round with an 84.41m throw.
India’s Neeraj Chopra also went through to the medal round with his first throw of the morning at 86.65 metres, while world leader Germany’s Johannes Vetter also advanced.
They will be joined by Finland’s Lassi Etelätalo, whose first attempt of 84.50m, a season’s best, granted him passage to the medal round.
The 2012 Olympic champion and bronze medallist five years ago in Rio, Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago failed to advance, as he fell short with a throw of 79.33m.
Speaking to the media, Nadeem said he was thankful for the support given to him by Pakistanis. He also appealed to the nation for more prayers so that he can give a stellar performance 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”.
Nadeem has a personal-best throw of 86.38m, which he achieved in April during his gold medal run at the Imam Raza Athletics Cup in Iran.
He is one of the few Pakistani athletes to secure direct qualification for Olympics, thanks to his gold medal-winning throw at South Asian Games in December 2019.