The 25-year-old at Hayward Field launched his javelin with a thunderous cheer, and when it passed the 80-meter mark, Arshad raised his arms and blew out his cheeks in satisfaction that he had done just enough.
Arshad became the first athlete from his nation to compete in a final at the World Athletics Championships with his season-best throw of 81.71 metres in Eugene.
Arshad shared the footage of the throw that got him into Saturday’s final on Instagram and thanked the nation for its prayers in the caption.
“We need to pray more.”Arshad’s accomplishment on Thursday comes after he advanced to the medal round at the Tokyo Games in August of last year, where he finished fifth with a throw of 84.62 metres, making him the first athlete from his nation to do so in the history of the Olympics.
With the automatic qualifying standard set at 83.50m, Arshad got off to a poor start due to an elbow ailment. His first throw was only 76.15 metres long, while his second one was even shorter at 74.38 metres.
His third throw, though, was sufficient for him to place among the top 12 qualifiers for the final. Out of 27 competitors, who were divided into two qualifying groups, he placed ninth overall.Numerous heavyweights, like German Julian Weber and former Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago, are joining him in the final, in addition to Olympic champions Neeraj Chopra of India, Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic, Anderson Peters of Grenada, and many others.
Chopra improved upon his own Olympic gold-winning performance to proceed and became the first Indian to win an Olympic track and field gold medal at the Tokyo Games last year.