KARACHI: United States-based emerging player Yasmin Maryam Khan and Asim Ijaz won gold medals for Pakistan in taekwondo competitions of the 12th South Asian Games in the Indian city of Shillong on Sunday.
According to an official, the two medals pushed Pakistan’s gold-medal tally to ten.
The 16-year-old Yasmin lived up to the billing by securing gold in the fin-weight on her South Asian Games debut.
“I really feel great,” the jubilant Yasmin told ‘The News’ after her splendid showing. She defeated players from India, Bangladesh and Nepal to grab the title.
“The South Asian Games standard is good. This region is progressive and I wish its players good luck,” said Yasmin, who featured in the US Open last year.
Asim of Army won gold in the heavyweight category by beating players from India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.
“I am really happy to have clinched gold for Pakistan on my debut,” Asim told this correspondent.
“I want to go a long way and win medals at the highest level,” said Asim, who lives in Layyah.
Other taekwondo players Naveed Khan (-86kg) grabbed silver medal and Ayesha Noor claimed bronze in flyweight.
Four Pakistani boxers, Mohibullah, Mohammad Asif, Ali Ahmed and Tanveer Ahmed, reached finals.
The experienced Ali defeated Gayan Sanjeeva of Sri Lanka 2-1 in the 60kg semi-final.
Asif, who plays for Higher Education Commission (HEC) at the domestic level, defeated Isan Sankeeva Bandra of Sri Lanka 3-0 in the 52 kilogramme semi-final.
In the other two semi-finals Mohibullah of Pakistan defeated a boxer from Afghanistan in the 49kg semi-final.
Tanveer Ahmed overpowered a Bhutan player in the 75kg semi-final.
“All our four finals are with India tomorrow. I expect two or three gold medals,” Pakistan’s coach Ali Bakhsh told ‘The News’.
In women boxing, Sofia Javed of Pakistan got bronze in 75kg.
In men’s handball, Pakistan and India set up final date after winning their semi-finals. Pakistan defeated Bangladesh, while India edged out Nepal.
The final will be held on Monday (today).
In women handball, Pakistan will face Nepal in the third-place contest. Nepal lock horns with Bangladesh in the third-place play-off in men’s event.
It has also been learnt that the South Asian Olympic Council’s (SAOC) executive committee meeting will be held at Guwahati on Monday (today).
There are three main points on the agenda which include reviewing of the current South Asian Games, the next SAG allotment and its disciplines.