KARACHI: Mohammad Waseem crushed Benson Gicharu from Kenya to lift gold as Pakistan finished with a single gold and seven bronze medals in the Second Shaheed Benazir Bhutto International Boxing tournament, which concluded at the Liaquat Gymnasium in Islamabad on Thursday.
Uzbekistan were declared overall champions as they ended with six gold medals. Syria ended as runners-up with two gold and two silver medals. The winners Uzbekistan were handed over $5000. The runners-up Syria went away with $3000.
Waseem, who had qualified for the final after beating India’s Madan Lal in the 52kg semifinal, played aggressively against his Kenyan rival, dislodging him with 26-9. Waseem claimed $800 for his splendid feat and got richer by another $2000 after being declared as the best boxer of the competitions in which pugilists from around 16 countries took part. “Waseem played extremely well throughout the competition,” coach Ali Bakhsh told The News.
Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) secretary Akram Khan said that Waseem fully exploited home advantage to clinch the gold. “I think he got full advantage of the home conditions,” Akram said.
When told that Waseem has proved with his performance that he is a better boxer than Haroon Khan in the 52kg and should be given an opportunity in the Olympic qualifiers in Astana in March next year in weight category of his choice, Akram said, “It will be decided by the coaches.”
Akram was satisfied with Pakistan’s performance in the tournament. “I think our boys played well in front of the tough oppositions. Uzbekistan, Mongolia and Syria had tough boxers and most of them have also qualified for the Olympics and showing resistance against them was enough for our youth with little experience,” the PBF official said.
Mohammad Nisar, Jamal Nasir, Nisar Khan, Ghulam Mustafa, Niamatullah, Nadir Khan and Yasir Javed were those Pakistani boxers who earned bronze medals. A total of 34 boxers from Pakistan, also including Britain-born Haroon Khan, took part in the event. Haroon, who had picked bronze in the 52kg in the Delhi Commonwealth Games last year, lost his quarter-final against India’s Madan Lal 23-6.
Results: Finals (49kg): Peter Mungai (Kenya) bt Ariunbold Ganselem (Mongolia) 21-7
52kg: Mohammad Waseem (Pak) bt Benson Gicharu (Kenya) 26-9
56kg: Shayimov Orzubek (Uzbekistan) bt Wassam Slamana (Syria) 19-15 60kg: Gaibnazarov Fazalidin (Uzbekistan) got walkover against Ayrin Ismetov (Bulgaria)
64kg: Rahmanov Sanjarbek (Uzbekistan) bt Ambomo Serge (Cameroon) 38-25
69kg: Normatov (Uzbekistan) bt Mamadajov Ahmad (Uzbekistan) 18-11
75kg: Abdulayev Shuhrat (Uzbekistan) bt Atoev Abbos (Uzbekistan) 18-10
81kg: Rasulov Elshod (Uzbekistan) bt Manaf Assad (Syria) 21-10
91kg: Mohammad Ghossoum (Syria) bt Tulaganov Rustam (Uzbekistan) 27-22 +91kg: Soumar Ghossoun (Syria) bt Ali Salmani (Iran) 26-12