KARACHI: Pakistan’s experienced female sprinter and two-time South Asian Games relay bronze medalist Nadia Nazir died in a car accident near Bahawalnagar on Friday night.
She was 34. Her five-year-old son Huzaifa also died on the spot when the car crashed into a truck at Chishtia Road. Nadia’s husband, who was driving the car, also received critical injuries. He was in the hospital.
They were going to attend a wedding ceremony, an official of the Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) told this correspondent.
She was laid to rest at Bahawalnagar after Asr prayers on Saturday.
Nadia, who played for WAPDA, was part of Pakistan’s 4x100m relay teams that won bronze medals in the 2006 Colombo and 2010 Dhaka South Asian Games.
In the Colombo South Asian Games Olympian Sadaf Siddiqui, Saira Fazal and Pakistan’s most popular sprinter Naseem Hameed were also part of the relay team with Nadia.
In the Dhaka South Asian Games, Nadia, Sadaf, Naseem and Javeria Hassan were part of Pakistan’s bronze medalists relay squad. The four-time national champion Sahiwal-born Nadia also holds 400m hurdles national record. She had set this record in the 2007 National Games in Karachi, while clocking 61.08 seconds of timing.
She also was part of the WAPDA’s 4x100m relay team who hold national record, an AFP official informed.
After having missed the 2016 South Asian Games in India last year due to injury Nadia was part of the national camp which is in progress at the Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad. Her luggage is still in her room. Her colleague Olympian Rabia Ashiq told ‘The News’ on Saturday that Nadia was a fine athlete and a good human being.
“She was my friend. She was kind-hearted and I am really shocked,” Rabia said.
Nadia had also featured in the World championships in Athletics in 2007 in Japan. The AFP and Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) have expressed deep sorrow over the sad death of the athlete.
The AFP secretary Mohammad Zafar said it was a huge loss.
“She was really a good athlete and it’s a great loss for the AFP, her family and the whole country”, Zafar said.
In a condolence message the POA said: “The POA chief Lt Gen Arif Hasan and the entire Olympic family was deeply grieved on the sad demise of Nadia Nazir. She would always be remembered for her contribution to Pakistan sports.”