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September 19, 2017

Mehboob in 400m final, Saeed grabs bronze in traditional wrestling


September 19, 2017

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan: Olympian athlete Mehboob Ali kept Pakistan in the hunt when he blasted his way into the final of men’s 400 metres athletics competition at the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games here at the indoor athletic arena on Monday.

But his qualification for the final became uncertain when Pakistan officials were informed that he was being disqualified as he had touched a line. Pakistan officials promptly registered a protest and demanded that the result not be changed.

Mehboob, who featured in 2016 Rio Olympics, finished first in the second semi-final, carrying six athletes with a timing of 47.73 seconds. He had qualified for the semi-finals with 48.63 timing which means that the athlete from Army has the guts to get a medal.

His effort in the semi-final is the best from a Pakistani in any indoor competition. The previous best timing in indoor was by Asad Iqbal (48.71).His brother Nokar Hussain failed to qualify for the final when he finished fourth out of six athletes in the 400m first semi-final with a timing of 48.77.  Nokar had moved into the semi-final with a timing of 48.40.

In the women’s 400m semi-finals, Olympian Najma Parveen failed to impress as she finished at the sixth position, clocking 59.74. She had qualified for the semi-finals as the best loser in the initial round with a timing of 59.70. Maria Maratab finished well short of a medal when she ended at a poor seventh position in the women’s 60m hurdles final with a timing of 9.33. Eight athletes took part in the final. She had recorded 9.32 to qualify for the finals.

It was not a good day for Olympian Rabia Ashiq who failed to qualify for the next round in both the 400m and 800m races. In the 400m Rabia, who was part of Pakistan’s squad in 2012 London Olympics, finished 15th out of 16 competitors who featured in different heats. She clocked 1:08.57.

The tall WAPDA racer narrowly missed the 800m finals after she finished seventh out of 11 athletes that took part in two heats as six had to qualify. Her timing remained 2:20.87.Experienced hurdler Mohsin Ali also failed to impress in the 60m hurdles as he finished ninth out of 16 competitors who featured in two heats. His timing was 8.03.

A few of the national athletes are yet to feature in the competitions. In taekwondo, Isra Ilyas fell at the first hurdle when she lost to Titania Dhean Fairing 0-20 in the minus 46kg round-of-16 fight. Young fighter Mohammad Fahim also exited at the first hurdle in the minus 74kg taekwondo round-of-16 fight when he was comprehensively beaten by Akbar Aitakhunov of Kyrgyzstan 2-19.

In men’s singles indoor tennis first round, Pakistan had a mixed fortune as Ahmed Chaudhry won his first game but Heera Ashiq lost his match. Chaudhry defeated Gavin Iakopo of Tuvalu 2-0, while Heera went 0-2 down against India’s Vijay Natarajan.

Pakistan added to their medals tally when they grabbed their second bronze in traditional wrestling through Saeed Anwar who picked it in 57 kilogramme. It took Pakistan’s tally to eight medals, including one gold, two silver and three bronze in ju-jitsu and two in traditional wrestling. Anwar lost to a fighter from Turkmenistan in the semi-final. Earlier, he had defeated a fighter from Kazakhstan.

Pakistan’s belt wrestlers will have their contests on Tuesday (today). Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) secretary Arshad Sattar was quite optimistic about Pakistan’s medal chances in belt wrestling. “We will give you good news tomorrow inshaAllah,” Arshad told ‘The News’ here on Monday.

In minus 57 kg women’s classic traditional wrestling contest, Humaira Ashiq lost her quarter-final against Leila Siyahashi of Iran. She had defeated Grace Lobaranes of Philippines earlier. Those who failed to impress were Ambreen Masih, Beenish Khan, Aqib Manzoor, Mohsin Raza, Mohammad Adnan, Shehzad Khan, Maroof, Mohabat Ali, Hamad Butt, Tayyab Raza, Marya, Mohammad Basit, Asad Butt and Niamatullah.

It was not a good day for Pakistan’s ju-jitsu fighters as they failed to add to their illustrious effort in newaza. Mohammad Abid fell just short of a bronze medal when he lost his bronze medal fight in the - 94kg against Jordon’s Sad Sami.

Abid had earlier lost his first bout against United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Obaid Rashid. However he was given repechage where he defeated Gilbert Ombao of the Philippines with an enviable ease to qualify for the bronze medal fight.

Zakir Abbas beat Sharad Abhijit of India before losing to Ali Abdhali of Bahrain in his second fight.Waqar Umar Rana also faced an early exit when he was beaten by a player from Turkmenistan. Hamid Ali had defeated Ahmed Eshani, but he was beaten by the UAE’s Yahya Mansoor in his next fight that ended his journey in the +94 kilogramme competitions.

Pakistan will begin their snooker journey on Tuesday (today).