LAHORE - Pakistan’s star javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem once again raised the country’s hopes to win medal at the Olympics as he grabbed gold medal in the 1st International Imam Reza Athletics Cup at Mashhad, Iran on late Monday. “Arshad has clinched the gold medal in Iran, marking 86.38 meters to improve his previous (South Asian Games) record,” Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) President Maj Gen (r) Muhammad Akram Sahi said on Tuesday and added: “This is an outstanding performance. All this is part of his Olympic campaign, wherein he will be at the peak.” Arshad, 24-year-old, rose to prominence in 2019, when he set South Asian Games (SAG) record in the javelin throw with a distance of 86.29 metres, earning a direct spot in the Olympics. The Olympics qualification standard for the javelin throw is 85 meters. Sahi said the federation is doing its best to prepare the athlete to clinch medal at the Tokyo Olympics, taking place from July 23 to August 8. Russia accuses US, NATO of moving troops to its border “Arshad has been continuously training hard during the Covid-19 lockdown period. His Pakistani coach Fiaz Bokhari has been with him throughout this time and remained focused to hone his skills. We are satisfied and are optimistic that he will earn medal at the mega sports event (Olympics),” he added. Sahi further revealed that Arshad would fly to Turkey from Iran later Tuesday to attend a three-week Olympic training camp. “At the camp, he will have the services of his Kazakh coach Viktor Yevsyukov. He has already been getting online training from Viktor, which has been very productive. We wanted to send him to Kazakhstan earlier but due to coronavirus-enforced travel limitations, it could not be possible. “Now, Arshad will get the opportunity to train from Viktor at the camp. We are sure the training stint at Turkey will go a long way in further polishing his skills and improving his techniques,” the AFP chief added. Viktor is the 1987 World Championship silver medallist. His own best record in javelin throw has been 93.70 metre in the old model measurements, while according to the new model that record is 85.16m. PM Imran will visit Karachi, Sukkur on April 16 Meanwhile, Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Director General Col (r) Asif Zaman have also greeted Arshad on achieving this feat. In a statement, they congratulated Arshad on winning the gold and hoped that he would carry the momentum to the Olympics and win medal for the country after 29 years. They said that Arshad’s performance reflected the fact that his preparation for the Olympics is moving in the right direction.