Ashraf Ali Siddiqui is glad about Pakistanis sparkle in Commonwealth Games
After a considerably long time medals came the Pakistanis sparkle in commonwealth games way which was held in Birmingham. Arshad Nadeem ended the 56-year medal drought in track and field for Pakistan at the Commonwealth Games. This surely was a remarkable performance as Arshad Nadeem won the javelin throw final at the Alexander Stadium with a monster 90.18-metre throw. That brought Pakistan’s first athletics medal at the Games since 1966 and a first javelin gold for the country, bettering Mohammad Nawaz’s silver at the inaugural edition of the quadrennial multi-sport spectacle in 1954 and Jalal Khan’s second-place finish in 1958.
It was Pakistan’s second gold in Birmingham and the first was also won with a Games record when Nooh Dasagir Butt triumphed in the +105kg weightlifting competition. Like Nooh, Arshad was also one of Pakistan’s leading hopes for a medal going into the Games and he delivered a statement of his intent with just his first throw. It was in the penultimate round, when Arshad finally trailed — Peters launching the javelin to 88.64 metres. Peters celebrated as if it was enough for gold but his joy was short-lived. This was Arshad’s gold to win and he immediately threw over the sport’s ‘holy grail’ mark of 90m. By doing so he became only the second Asian to cross that mark after Taiwan’s Chao-Tsun Cheng (91.36m). He also broke the Games record of 88.75m by South African Marius Corbett that stood since 1998. Peters, who threw over 90 metres to win at the worlds in Oregon, tried with his final throw to overhaul Arshad but it was not to be and ended with silver with Kenya’s Yego picking up bronze with a best throw of 85.70m.
Pakistan’s wrestlers continued picking up medals at the Commonwealth Games but a gold proved elusive yet again. Mohammad Sharif Tahir, in his maiden international event, went closest at the Coventry Arena. But just like compatriot Inam Butt on Friday, he couldn’t get a final victory against an opponent from arch-rivals India. Sharif lost 9-0 to Naveen Kumar in the 74kg final, his defeat coming moments after his team-mate Ali Asad had picked up bronze by swatting New Zealand’s Suraj Singh 11-0 in the 57kg competition. Ali had earlier lost to cross-border rival Ravi Kumar and India domination of Pakistan in the ring was extended later in the evening when Tayyab Raza lost his 97kg bronze medal match 2-10 to Deepak Nehra. The Pakistan trio had all advanced to the semi-finals in their respective categories but only Sharif was able to go through to the final. TW