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September 17, 2017



Pakistan clinch gold medal in men’s ju-jitsu duo show

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan: Pakistan got off to a solid start when they grabbed one gold, two silver and four bronze medals in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games which will be formally opened here at the sprawling Ashgabat Olympic Complex on Sunday (today). 


Pakistan’s ju-jitsu pair of Shahzeb Nawaz Janjua and Hafiz Rafiq Siddiq, who belong to Lahore, defeated Thailand’s Pothaisong and Netpong 45.0-44.5 in the men’s duo show final to win the first gold for the country in the most competitive event.

Earlier, they crafted a close 44-43 win over Turkmenistan in the semi-finals. Pakistan also snared two silver and three bronze medals in ju-jitsu while the other bronze came in traditional wrestling, which is also called kurash. This is the first time that traditional and belt wrestling have been added to the continent’s most important event.

As per the details, Hafiz Rafiq and Komal got silver in the mixed duo show after losing to fighters from Turkmenistan in the final.

Earlier, the country’s top ju-jitsu fighters Mohammad Ammar and Abu Huraira once again played superbly to claim first silver for the nation in the men’s duo competitions. After beating the pairs from Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, Ammar and Abu Huraira, who belong to Karachi, had tied their crucial league fight with Thailand before losing to them by a narrow margin of 100.5-101 following a golden point round.

“I am really happy with the outcome. We could have won gold had the referees not made a few mistakes that went against us,” Ammar told ‘The News’ after a hectic series of fights at the well-facilitated martial arts venue of the village.

This is the fifth medal at the Asian level for Ammar and Abu Huraira who after Saturday’s achievement took their tally at the continental level to three gold and two silver medals besides having won silver in the 2015 World Championships.

Abu Huraira said their recent participation in the World Games in Poland had boosted their confidence. “The World Games exposure really helped us here,” Huraira told this correspondent.

Similarly, the pair of Komal Emmanuel and Sonia Manzoor claimed bronze medals in women’s ju-jitsu duo classic and women’s duo show competitions while the pair of Sonia Manzoor and Shahzeb Nawaz Janjua lifted the other ju-Jitsu bronze in mixed duo classic.

Meanwhile, Ambreen Maseeh also secured bronze in minus 58 kilogramme traditional wrestling.

Turkmenistan were leading the medals tally with 13 gold, 12 silver and 7 bronze medals. They were followed by Uzbekistan with 2 gold, 3 silver and 8 bronze medals. Thailand were trailing at number three with 2 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze. Pakistan were at the fourth spot having bagged one gold, two silver and four bronze medals.

Ashgabat, situated between the Karakum desert and Kopet Dag mountain range, is ready for the opening ceremony of the spectacle carrying over 6000 athletes from 65 nations of the continent.

Most of the athletes have already arrived in the city and boarded at the athletes village which also has an amazing media residence where foreign journalists have been accommodated. Over 500 journalists are expected to cover the competitions which may strengthen Turkmenistan’s position to host Asian Games in future as the nation possesses wonderful and cohesive infrastructure at one place that has really amazed everyone who is part of the Games.

Only two venues out of 15 being used for competitions in 21 disciplines are out of the sports complex which also has metro train facility.

“It’s really amazing,” Pakistan Olympic Association’s ( POA) secretary Khalid Mehmood told ‘The News’ here on Saturday.

Pakistan is featuring in the competitions in 10 disciplines which include athletics, snooker and billiards, ju-Jitsu, swimming, taekwondo, tennis, weightlifting, wrestling (kurash, belt, freestyle and Greco-Roman), kick-boxing and e-sport which is also expected to become part of the Asian Games.

A 135-member contingent of Pakistan will be featuring in the slots.  Around 76 athletes have already arrived here, a POA official told this correspondent.

President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain arrived here on Saturday and met with Turkmenistan president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.

Tight security arrangements have been made and no-one is allowed to roam freely inside the complex which has been established recently at a whopping cost of 5 billion dollars.