Pakistan’s star athlete Arshad Nadeem was showered rose petals on Thursday when he returned home after putting a tremendous performance at the Tokyo Olympics.
Though the track and field athlete could not win a medal in the world’s biggest sports festival, he won the hearts of millions of Pakistanis with his indomitable will to put the country on the map with little resources at his disposal.
Arshad took part in javelin throw event at the Olympics and finished fifth.
Arshad landed at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport at around 1:30 after midnight.
A large number of sports enthusiasts had gathered at the airport to welcome Arshad. Cheers and loud slogans resonated as he came out of the lounge.
Punjab Minister for Youth and Sports Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti, president of the Athletics Federation of Pakistan, coaches and athletes received him at the airport.
Speaking to media at the airport, Arshad thanked the people who prayed for him.
“I got fame owing to people’s prayers,” he said.
“I will overcome my shortcomings and put up my best in the future.”
Arshad vowed that he would not disappoint his admirers with his performance in future. “I worked hard and came in fifth,” he said.
He said he was grateful to the Pakistan Sports Board and Punjab board and expressed satisfaction with the bodies for patronising him.
Sports Minister Rai Taimoor lauded Arshad and said he made us proud.
Arshad got Pakistan global recognition, said the minister.