Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra in an interview with Times of India revealed that on the day he won the gold, he was taken a bit off guard after he could not locate his javelin.
Chopra revealed that he was searching for his javelin at the start of the final round and was not able to locate it. Suddenly he saw Pakistan’s athlete Arshad Nadeem moving around with his javelin. Chopra asked Nadeem to return his javelin as he had to throw it. Nadeem gave it back after which he proceeded to participate. Chopra said that because of this, he appeared slightly hurried in the first throw.
This clip shows Chopra taking the javelin from Nadeem:
One can see Chopra reaching out to Arshad Nadeem and taking back his javelin which was with him. Neeraj then took a close look at his javelin and went for the throw. He runs for the throw and from his body language it appeared like he was slightly disappointed that he perhaps did not give his best. This clip, however, is too short to give a clear picture of what might have actually transpired and why Arshad Nadeem had Neeraj Chopra’s javelin.
This, however, led to a lot of speculation on social media on what exactly was Pakistani athlete doing with the javelin of an Indian athlete. That too just before the finals.
Many wondered if Nadeem was perhaps tampering with the javelin in a bid to hurt Neeraj’s chances at Olympics.
Many expressed their concerns over tampering of the javelin.
Why would Aman ki Asha journos’ favourite Nadeem do it? tampering? pic.twitter.com/KxqloYKFl6— विकास पांडेय (@MODIfiedVikas) August 25, 2021
Why did you crop the part of news where pak athelet was tampering with Neeraj javelin?— Joshi (@joshi1293) August 25, 2021
Pakistani athletes, especially cricketers have often been accused of tampering with the ball. Hence, the fears of netizens were not unfounded.
There are high chances that Arshad Nadeem was just having a look at Neeraj’s javelin, awestruck by the efforts Indian government put in for Chopra. Perhaps he was anxious because of lack of support from government and felt extremely underprepared competing with athletes like Neeraj Chopra who had the government supporting him.
Never forget this – Neeraj Chopra vs Nadeem Arshad pic.twitter.com/AjVIfX4dsP— Shiraz Hassan (@ShirazHassan) August 8, 2021
Soon after Neeraj won a gold medal at the Olympics, Pakistanis had expressed how Neeraj was given the best training while his Pakistani counterpart got no support from the government.
Earlier this year, Chopra had said how Indian government made sure he gets trained abroad.
As far as preparations for @Tokyo2020 are concerned, all my requirements have been taken care of in the best possible way. I’m training in Europe currently and am thankful for the efforts made by the government and the Indian embassy, despite the tough visa rules.— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) June 16, 2021
He had said that he was in Europe getting trained and how Indian government ensured he got there despite strict visa and travel restrictions due to COVID pandemic. An article in Arab News, states how Nadeem lamented over lack of facilities and support from Pakistani government for athletes.
“With the given facilities, we can only win hearts, not medals,” he had told Arab News from Tokyo on how the government showed very little support. He said how Pakistan government is obsessed with cricket and hence very little attention is paid to other sports.
Dr Asad Abbas Shah, secretary of the Medical Commission of the Pakistan Olympic Association, in conversation with Arab News claimed that Arshad was suffering from anxiety especially because he came from humble background. Dr Shah was also surprised at how well prepared Indian contingent was. “They had brought with them an osteopath, physiotherapist, sports psychologist, doctor, orthopedic surgeon and even neurologist. They have an orchestra. What do we have? Nothing,” he had told Arab News.
OpIndia has reached out to Chopra as well as Arshad Nadeem for their comments on what could be the possible reason for Arshad to be roaming around with Neeraj’s javelin. We shall update the report once we heard back from them.