While the sporting world has already started to look forward to India vs Pakistan clash at the Men's T20 World Cup later this year, there is yet another India vs Pakistan clash in a sporting event just around the corner. And it happens to be at the Tokyo 2020 Men's Javelin Throw final set to be played on August 7. Not only did India's Neeraj Chopra qualified for the finale of the event with an 86.65m throw, so did Pakistan's Arshad Nadeem and both of them will try their best to outperform each other for a podium finish at the Olympics.
The two athletes from the subcontinent share a good relationship with each other. At the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta-Palembang, where Neeraj had won the gold medal, his warm gesture towards Arshad caught everyone's attention. After the contest, during the medal distribution ceremony, it was a pleasant sight to see Neeraj bow his head down and shake hands with Arshad, who had bagged the bronze.
Moreover, even the Pakistani athlete was quick to reciprocate Neeraj's gesture and it made for an amazing sight that the two champion players had put the political tensions between the two neighbouring aside to show the respect that they deserve.
Even tennis ace Sania Mirza had taken note of the incident and termed sport as the best education people can provide their child with. "Why I always say SPORT is the best ‘education you can provide your child with! Teaches you sportsmanship, equality, respect and most importantly humanity! If only some people can learn this from our champion athletes too!! Well done to @Neeraj_chopra1 on the gold for India," she tweeted.
Arshad has also gone on record applauding Neeraj's talent, even calling him as one of his inspirations.
Neeraj India's only hope of a remote possibility of a medal in athletics
"Neeraj is an amazing talent. I have competed with him about eight times now including the SAFF Championships in India and Asian Junior Championships. But he has a foreign coach and I don’t. His achievements inspire me and my goal is to emulate him one day, maybe beat him too,” Arshad was earlier quoted as saying by PTI.
As far as their chances of a podium finish are concerned, Neeraj is India's only hope of a remote possibility of bagging a medal in athletics. He is world number 16 and topped the qualification chart in his first and only attempt. In contrast, Arshad is ranked 23 and failed to breach the automatic qualification mark set at 83.50m.
The prime gold medal contender for this event is World number 1 Johannes Vetter of Germany who managed a distance of 85.64m in his third and final attempt.