KARACHI: Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) is keen to have its top crop trained on foreign soil in order to prepare them for a load of vital international events, including the 2024 Paris Olympics Qualifiers.
"Yes, we want to train our leading grapplers on foreign soil. We are waiting for the appointment of the new Director General of Pakistan Sports Board (PSB)," vice-president of PWF Arshad Sattar told 'The News' on Sunday. "If it is delayed then we plan to hold a meeting with the IPC minister and discuss with him our training plans.
"You know it's very important to send our top wrestlers abroad for training. We have ahead tough events, most importantly the Olympic Qualifiers, and our wrestlers will need quality training. It is difficult to do so without state help," the official said.
"We have fine players in the shape of seasoned Mohammad Inam, Mohammad Bilal, Inayatullah and Sharif Tahir and we will need to assist them in their training so that they could manage some fine results in the Olympic qualifiers," Arshad said.
"Mohammad Inam and Mohammad Bilal have also been awarded IOC scholarships and they can also utilise that in that direction. Hopefully the things will go in the right direction," the official said.
National wrestlers have to take part in the Olympic qualifying rounds, Asian Championships, World Championships, ANOC World Beach Games, Asian Games and South Asian Games.
The country's premier wrestler and beach wrestling's undisputed hero Mohammad Inam will defend his title in the World Beach Games which will be held in Indonesia in August 2023.
Inam won the title in the inaugural edition held in Doha in 2019.
Currently 15 top wrestlers, under the supervision of two coaches, are training at the PSB Coaching Centre, Lahore. Arshad is quite happy with the training. "Yes, training is going well," he said.
Arshad said when Col (retd) Asif Zaman was DG PSB he had pledged to increase the strength of the camp. "We still hope that the strength will be increased by the new management of the Board," the official was quick to add.
In order to pick the best lot for future international events, the PWF has planned National Championship in Lahore from December 23-25.
"Yes, it's an important event and we will select probable players for future international events on the basis of their performances in this meet," Arshad said.
He said that in January 2023 National Beach Wrestling Championship will be held in Gwadar.
"It will be backed by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). Actually it wants to hold there a sports gala and our event will also be its part in which 11 teams will feature in four weight categories," Arshad said.
He confirmed that no Pakistani wrestler is featuring in the World Championship which is slated to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan, from December 12-13.