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April 5, 2018

Pakistan’s Commonwealth Games journey begins


April 5, 2018

Young Talha to compete in weightlifting today

By our correspondent

KARACHI: Pakistan’s medal hope in weightlifting Talha Talib will be put to a real test on Thursday (today) when he competes in the 62 kilogramme competitions of the 21st Commonwealth Games which were formally opened at Gold Coast, Australia, on Wednesday.

In the Commonwealth Junior Championships last year at Gold Coast, the 18-year-old won gold by lifting a total weight of 272kg, 126kg in snatch and 146kg in clean and jerk.He also secured silver in the senior category of the championships with the same total. “We have sent Talha for winning gold or silver,” Pakistan Weightlifting Federation’s (PWF) secretary Amjad Amin Butt told ‘The News’ on Wednesday.

“We have done what we could and I am very confident our weightlifters will deliver,” the official said.There are 15 entries in Talha’s weight category. Also to compete on Thursday is weightlifter Abdullah Ghafoor who is set for his best lift in the 56 kilogramme competitions. The 31-year-old Abdullah is more experienced. He featured in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and finished fourth.

In 2010 Dhaka South Asian Games and 2016 India South Asian Games Abdullah secured bronze medals.Usman Amjad Rathore (94kg), the 2015 Pune Commonwealth Championship silver medallist, the Commonwealth Championships 2017 silver medallist Nooh Dastagir Butt (+105kg) and the 2016 India South Asian Games bronze medallist Abu Sufyan (69kg) are the other weightlifters in the quadrennial event.

Pakistan will also begin their medal quest in boxing on Thursday (today) when Gul Zeb faces William Le Poullain of Guernsey in the round of 32 at Oxenford Boxing Studios. As per draws, on April 9, boxer Ali Ahmed will face French Calum of England in the 60kg round of 16.

On the same day, Mohammad Asif will meet Agina Brian of Kenya in the round of 16. Pakistan’s medal hope Awais Ali Khan will play directly in the quarter-final on April 11, having got bye in the initial round.

In squash on Thursday, Tayyab Aslam will take on Neville Sorrentino of British Vigin Islands in men’s singles round of 64. Farhan Zaman will meet Toe Chapman of British Virgin Islands in the men’s singles round of 64.

Madina Zafar will meet Deon Saffery of Wales in the women’s singles round of 62. In badminton, Pakistan will face Scotland and India in their initial two fixtures of the mixed team event Group A competitions on Thursday. Sri Lanka are also in the group.

The country’s top seeds Murad Ali, Hafiz Irfan Saeed, Mahoor Shehzad and Palwasha Bashir form Pakistan’s badminton squad. Haseeb Tariq will compete in the 100m backstroke swimming event. Bisma Khan is the other swimmer who will represent Pakistan.

On Wednesday Pakistan’s contingent participated in the opening ceremony held at the Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast. Experienced weightlifter Usman Amjad Rathore, who has enormous international experience, served as the flag-bearer.

Most of the Pakistan’s contingent is now in Australia. The eight-member wrestling squad is currently training in Pakistan and is scheduled to leave for Queensland on April 7. Wrestling competitions will be begin from April 12. Wrestling and weightlifting are being considered the disciplines in which Pakistan can secure medals.

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