KARACHI: Pakistani athlete Liaquat Ali fell short of his personal best in the 100m heat of the athletics competitions of the 2012 Olympics in London on Saturday.
Liaquat, who had entered the fray with his personal best timing of 10.55 seconds, clocked 10.90 seconds, a timing which prevented him from qualifying for the next round.
He ended fourth in his heat in which seven athletes competed and ended at the 15th spot of the 29 sprinters who took part in various heats.
The last athlete that moved into next round was Lumain Fernando of Indonesia with a timing of 10.80 seconds.
Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) President Major General (retd) Mohammad Akram Sahi was not satisfied with the athlete’s performance. “It was disappointing. Liaquat should have at least equalled his personal best timing,” Sahi told ‘The News’ from London soon after the sprinter’s meet. “But I think it was third or fourth international tour of Liaquat and I think he did not have much capacity and ran according to his potential,” said Sahi, also a former international athlete.
“Along with Liaquat we will now have to look for someone else in the 100m. We have another boy in the same event with a good timing and efforts would be made to prepare him for the future assignments, especially the South Asian Games,” the AFP chief said.
Pakistan have a challenging task ahead of them in the form of South Asian Games which are likely to be hosted by India in New Delhi next year.
If Liaquat’s performance is compared with the other athletes of South Asia that took part in the Olympics heats yesterday, Pakistan’s chance of a gold or silver in the coming South Asian Games in the 100m looks slim.
Azneem Ahmed from Maldives not only inked his personal best with a timing of 10.79 seconds, but also qualified for the second round.
It was also Maldives’ national record in the 100m.
Tilak Ram Tharu from Nepal was another success story from a South Asian country. He recorded his personal best by clocking 10.85.
Massoud Azizi of Afghanistan (11.19) and Mohan Khan of Bangladesh (11.25) finished behind Liaquat.
Before Liaquat, two swimmers Anam Bandey and Israr Hussain and shooter Khurram Inam showcased their talent in the Games. Khurram and Israr fell short of their personal best, Anum managed to better her national record in the 400m IM.