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February 15, 2018

Wushu players advanced training under way


February 15, 2018

KARACHI: Pakistan Wushu Federation (PWF) has held an advanced training camp for its budding fighters in Lahore to prepare them for the Asian Games slated to be held in Indonesia from August 18 to September 2.

“Yes, we have begun advanced training camp, carrying nine boys and four girls, in Lahore from February 1,” PWF president Malik Iftikhar told ‘The News’ on Wednesday in an interview.“It is not yet known when proper preparations for the Asiad under the government will begin. But keeping in view our stature in the discipline we thought that it would be important to at least keep our cream together. We have not yet even given it the name of a camp,” Malik said.

He explained that the basic purpose of this training was that if national camp got delayed due to any reason, they would have worked on their fighters. “The federation itself is meeting all the expenses. When the government gives us the green signal about a proper camp then we will invite all those fighters who had been shortlisted through trials,” Malik said.

He said that the country’s key fighter Maaz Khan was also part of the Lahore exercise.Pakistan has a golden history in the Asian Games as the country has been able to grab medals in the last three editions.

Malik said that he also hoped that the government would provide his lot a couple of months training opportunity in Iran ahead of the Asian Games in which Pakistan is expected to participate in 28 disciplines.

“I have talked to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and it has agreed. If we get the training tour it will be of cardinal importance for our fighters as they will get quality training for the Asian Games,” the official said.

He said that Pakistan would send some of the top players to Iran next month to feature in the 2nd Peace Wushu Championship to be held in Zahedan province from March 3-6.“As there is a financial issue, we will try to ensure participation of a few selected fighters in that tournament. In the first edition of this event held last year, we sent 15 girls and 13 of them claimed medals. It was only for girls that time. Now it will be for both the genders,” said Malik, himself a qualified coach.

He said that during the stay in Iran Pakistani fighters would feature in several events. He said that India is set to send its wushu squad to China in April for training there till the Asiad.“Iran has also started its preparations for the continental event,” he said.

Malik said that Pakistan has been prolific against the nations of South Asia, Central Asia and West Asia. He said that City Government Lahore was going to organise South Asian Open International Wushu tournament from March 10-15 in Lahore.

“Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Sri Lanka and Tanzania have already confirmed their participation,” Malik added.“It will be a good opportunity for our lot to get some match practice,” he said. He said this time most of the fighters Pakistan would field in the Asian Games would be new.

“Only Maaz is experienced, while the rest are young but highly talented,” Malik said. Syed Maratab Ali Shah claimed bronze for Pakistan in 2006 Doha and 2014 Incheon Asian Games. Ijaz Ahmed clinched silver in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.

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