"Neeraj Chopra's Videos, Ghee And Milk Diet": Arshad Nadeem's Uncle On Pakistan Athlete's Rise
Arshad Nadeem finished second, behind Neeraj Chopra, in the Men's Javelin Throw final at the World Athletics Championships.
As India's Neeraj Chopra stood tall on the top of the podium in the World Athletics Championship, accompanying him at the second spot was Pakistan's Arshad Nadeem in the Men's Javelin Throw final. There wasn't much separating the two athletes who have been competing against each other for years. While Neeraj remains the 'Golden Boy' in Indian athletics, Arshad has also brought many laurels to Pakistan with his performances on the international stage. In fact, Arshad's uncle revealed that his ward often watches Neeraj's videos back home, to better prepare himself for events.
"Our whole village was watching Arshad compete last night. Almost everybody knew that they had to go to work in the morning, including me, but I didn't want to miss the chance to see my son win a medal at the world level," Arshad's uncle Muhammad Ashraf told Indian Express.
Although Ashraf initially didn't understand what Javelin Throw was all about, he is elated to see the sort of laurels Arshad has brought Pakistan with his performances in the sport.
"He has done the village as well as Pakistan and the Asian continent proud. All his brothers and sisters were cheering when he won the medal. India da munda gold jeetya te Arshad hamesha ohre bare gal karda hai.(A boy from India has won the gold. Arshad often talks about him whenever he is at home)."
A part of Ashraf's preparations also included watching Neeraj Chopra's videos.
"When he was at home during the injury, he would talk about javelin and the similarities between tent pegging and javelin. He would tell us that it's as precise as tent pegging and the right angle and velocity have to be achieved in javelin too. He would often watch YouTube videos and we would see the Indian boy on his mobile phone," Ashraf further explained.
Things weren't always the most comfortable for Arshad and his family, with the athlete barely managing to make ends meet with his earnings. His uncle revealed that he took care of Arshad's diet by always giving him milk and ghee.
"We have seen days when I would earn 300-400 rupees a day and I had to support nine beings at home. But we made sure that Arshad and his siblings got milk and ghee. Even now, when he returns to the village after winning a Worlds medal, he will ask for a glass of milk and dishes made of desi ghee," Ashraf revealed.