LAHORE: Pakistan’s leading taekwondo fighter Haroon Khan is hopeful that he will finish at the victory podium in the 19th Asian Games.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to break the country’s Asian Games medal jinx,” Haroon told The News on Thursday hours before taekwondo squad’s departure from Islamabad for Hangzhou on Thursday.
“Asian Games are a tough event you know as Asian belt has the world’s top fighters but I am confident as I have the required experience and have also got good exposure in recent months.
I am very hopeful that I will be able to give a breakthrough to the country,” Haroon said. Pakistan have never won a medal in taekwondo in the Asian Games history.
Also proceeding to China with Haroon were Arbaz Khan, Aqdas Ullah, Hamza Saeed and Naila. Former world champion Yousuf Karami of Iran is accompanying the squad as coach who will be handling kyorugi fighters while Korea’s Seongoh Choi will coach poomsae fighters. Shamim Akhtar is the other official.
Meanwhile, a six-member Pakistan wushu squad also flew out of Islamabad for Hangzhou on Thursday via Air China to feature in the quadrennial event. Pakistan have a solid record in wushu in the Asian Games but this time the squad lacks sting as it is missing several top fighters due to injuries and other reasons.
“Yes, this time it will be tough as you know the situation but we will be making our top effort,” a Pakistan Wushu Federation (PWF) official told The News. The squads of swimming, tennis, squash and hockey were also scheduled to leave for Hangzhou on Thursday.