LAHORE - Pakistan’s gold medal-winning javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem believes that athletics ground and the best facilities are essential to win gold medal for the country in Olympics.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Arshad urged the government to provide a fully-equipped and international-standard athletics ground for the local players and expressed the hope that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would take steps for the betterment of athletic sports in the country.

The javelin thrower thanked Athletic Federation of Pakistan (AFP) President Maj Gen (R) Muhammad Akram Sahi, its officials, Pakistan Wapda, coach, family and especially Nayza for all-out support that helped him excel and win gold medals in the mega events.

Lauding the role of Wapda in the development of sports in Pakistan, Arshad said: “Wapda is the biggest players’ support platform in our country and provides jobs to many talented sportspersons, who are trained well under able guidance of qualified coaches and later, they win medals for the country at national and international levels. I wish that the private sector too will continue to promote our local players and we will achieve more success in future by working together.

“I am also thankful to Nayza and its CEO Mr. Zahid Hussain for their support and training abroad as it helped in transforming me into a true champion and a gold-medal winning player. With more such support, hopefully, I will succeed in giving my best in the world event and Paris Olympics,” he asserted.

To a query, the 25-year-old said: “Neeraj Chopra has been enjoying the best facilities in his country and it was due to heavy investments on him that he had won a gold medal in Tokyo Olympics. But after winning gold medals in Commonwealth Games and Islamic Solidarity Games, I am now hopeful that everyone will support me too in making my dream of winning Olympic gold true.”

He said he was currently working on his injury and would undergo vigorous training before the Paris Olympics 2024. “I will prepare well for the Paris Olympics 2024. I am working on my injury and AFP President Maj Gen (R) Akram Sahi and other officials have supported me tremendously for that. The doctors have also done a great job for my recovery.”

About his upcoming meeting with PM Shehbaz, Arshad hoped that the PM would take measures for the advancement of athletics in the country. “My task is to produce the best results in the mega events and it is the responsibility of government and corporate sector to provide me the facilities for the preparation of mega events including Paris Olympics.”

Speaking on the occasion, Nayza CEO Zahid Hussain said: “Our meeting with Arshad Nadeem was held through Mr. Salman Butt and then we met with AFP President Maj Gen (R) Akram Sahi, who asked me to fully support Arshad saying he has potential and he can win international medal for Pakistan. First, we sent him Mashhad, Iran for training and then South Africa, where he trained for two months and then he went to USA for training purpose.

“I think Commonwealth Games proved a lucky place for him, where he finally won the first javelin throw gold for Pakistan. He then managed to win another gold medal in the Solidarity Games in Konya, Turkey. Arshad is now our shining star and we are fully supporting him and want him to win more international gold medals for Pakistan,” he added.