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Tuesday July 23, 2024

Pakistan's Zahid Iqbal advances to rowing semi-finals in Asian Games 2023

The Pakistani rower completed the challenging 2,s000-metre course in 7 minutes

By Faizan Lakhani
September 20, 2023
Pakistan rowing team — Pakistan Olympic Association
Pakistan rowing team — Pakistan Olympic Association

KARACHI: Pakistan's Zahid Iqbal Khan participating in the ongoing Asian Games 2023, advanced to the semi-finals of the rowing's men's single sculls category on Wednesday.

Iqbal — part of the four-player rowing contingent participating in the event being held in Hangzhou, China — completed the arduous 2,000-metre course in an impressive 7 minutes and 34.6 seconds hence advancing to the semi-final stage of the competition.

In contrast, in the doubles category, Pakistan's representatives, Asad Iqbal and Muzamnil Shahzad, showed promise by clinching the third position in their heat. This achievement earned them a chance to compete in the Repechage round, where they will strive to secure a place in the finals.

The quadruple sculls category brought further success for Pakistan as the team finished second in their respective heats. This accomplishment means that Pakistan will move on to the repechage round in the quadruple sculls category, with the opportunity to progress further in the competition.

Earlier it was reported that Pakistan's 262-member contingent comprising of 137 men and 53 women athletes, along with a total of 72 officials will participate in the games.

The Pakistani contingent will participate in 24 different sports including cricket, boxing, badminton, golf, hockey, rowing, squash, wrestling etc.

An official of POA confirmed to Geo News that the E-sport team informed them of their withdrawal; however, the team had not cited finances as the reason for its missing the continental sporting pinnacle.

"They withdrew after one of their members expressed inability to join them for Asian Games and following to that, they were unable to play a full team there," the official said.

Earlier, the 12-member E-sport squad was named to represent Pakistan in the Asian Games.

However, the POA official confirmed that 5 athletes and 2 officials of the Fencing team withdrew from the Asian Games as they were unable to find sponsors. Pakistan will now be represented by only one athlete in Fencing — Mujadid Awan.

Najia Rasool, who was earlier named the official with the Taekwondo squad, has also been withdrawn after the athlete Fatima tuz Zehra was ruled out of the Asian Games due to an injury.

Gold player Yashal Shah, Rowing official Rizwan ul Haq, Swimming official Uzma Preto, and three Hockey coaches — Rehan Butt, Ayaz Mehmood, and Saqlain — who were removed by Pakistan Hockey Federation, are also withdrawn from the final squad list.

Earlier, the provisional list of 280 athletes and officials along with 14 other contingent officials was sent to the Asian Games Organizing committee for accreditation of players.

The biggest representation by Pakistan in the Asian Games will be from Cricket, which has named 39 players and officials for the extravaganza, in men's and women's competitions.

Athletics will be the second biggest representation with 22 players and officials representing in country in various disciplines followed by Hockey which has named 21 members to represent Pakistan at the Asian Games 2023.

Meanwhile, the POA has named Hamdan Nazir — the president of the Pakistan Rowing Federation and VP of Railways Sports Board — as chef de mission of Pakistan’s contingent. Munir Ahmed is named deputy chef demission.

The first batch of Pakistani athletes comprised of players and officials from Sailing and Volleyball will arrive in Hangzhou on 15th of September.