Neeraj Chopra’s historic gold and Arshad Nadeem’s record achievement as the first Pakistani to secure a medal in the World Athletics Championship are milestones in their respective careers.

When a journalist asked Chopra’s mother about his win over Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem, trying to give an India vs Pakistan narrative to the historic moment, her answer was all love and has gone viral on social media.

“Look, all have come to play in the field. One or the other will definitely win. So there is no question of being from Pakistan or Haryana,” she said.

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“It is a matter of happiness. Even if that Pakistani had won, there would’ve been great happiness,” she added.

While Neeraj and Nadeem engage in fierce competition on the field, both young athletes share a profound camaraderie beyond the arena. Beyond the thrill of rivalry, their off-field friendship has been evident through mutual appreciation and support on various occasions. The heartwarming connection serves as a poignant reminder of how the spirit of sportsmanship can not only bridge the gap between nations but also serve as a potent tool in minimizing conflicts.

In February 2016, the two competed against each other for the first time in the South Asian Games at Guwahati. While Chopra won the gold with a throw of 82.23, Nadeem took the bronze with 78.33 m. The second time the duo faced each other was at the Asian Junior Championships in Vietnam, where Chopra won the silver with a throw of 77.60 m and Nadeem claimed the bronze with 73.40. The India-Pakistan rivalry was seen at the World U-20 Championship in Poland, where Nadeem missed out on qualifying for the final with a throw of 67.17 to finish at the 15th spot. Chopra won that U-20 world title with 86.48, setting a new world U-20 record.