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EDITORIAL: As flooding paralysed life in many parts of Pakistan and vicious politicking darkened the sky over the head, someone came in from the dark and lit the light of hope, cheering up faces and reviving a feeling: everything is not yet lost.

That someone is Arshad Nadeem, who threw the javelin beyond the last line marking 90 meters, famously called the ‘holy grail’. It was a record throw of the javelin at the Commonwealth Games and he won for Pakistan its first track and field gold medal after 60 years.

Pakistan may not end up at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham among the top medal winners, but at such international games it is not the number of medals a team wins; it is the individual players who make to the front pages and breaking news. His is the second gold medal for Pakistan; Weightlifter Nooh Dastagir Butt won gold with a record lift of 405kg. As Arshad Nadeem entered the stadium he was not in a very good shape: his elbow wound remained fresh.

But his confidence squarely matched his determination to end Pakistan’s decades-long gold drought. His fiat has won him praise of all, from top in the country to the man in the street, but the one that needs recall was posted by cricketer Babar Azam: “Jism toota howa tha per himmat Himalaya se bhi buland. Salute to you my brother”.

Of the eight medals won so far by the Pakistani participants, the six-member wrestling team wrapped their journey with three silvers and two bronze. And this it did even when there is not much of official recognition of this sport, and wrestling as a game despite its potential to bring laurels at the regional and international games is essentially a private affair confined to certain groups and places. In fact, the game of cricket seems to have unfairly monopolised the government attention and blessings at the cost of other games or sports.

That the country has the desired potential to emerge as a great sporting nation is a fact. Not only is the government, therefore, required to help create the required training facilities, it should also hire trainers from abroad for our sportsmen and sportswomen. There are scores of sports, including water sports, for which the country has the raw material, which can be honed to successfully compete at international sports events.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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