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May 4, 2018

Wushu federation laments lack of govt support

Sports

May 4, 2018

KARACHI: Wushu is a sports discipline in which Pakistan has captured medals in the last three successive Asian Games. But a senior official of Pakistan Wushu Federation (PWF) has said that the government has so far not supported the federation in its bid to prepare a solid lot for the Asian Games, which are to be held from August 18 in Indonesia.

“We are yet to get any assistance from the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) for a training camp or foreign exposure to our fighters who want to prepare for the Asian Games,” a PWF official told ‘The News’ on Thursday.

“We have a fighting lot and have focused on a gold medal in the Asian Games. But if the fighters are not given a tour of Iran or China, it will dent Pakistan’s chances,” the official said.“Look at India. Its fighters are in Beijing and will train there till the Asian Games. Pakistan has great potential but if you don’t give to your fighters quality training and exposure, you can’t expect medals from them in a competitive event like the Asian Games,” the official said.

The PWF has held its camp for the last four months in Lahore with its own resources. After breaking it for a few days due to recently held National Championship in Lahore, the federation intends to resume it in Ramazan in which night training will be conducted. The PWF has asked PSB for a training tour of Iran but the Board has not responded to the request so far.

It has also been learnt that for the last five years the PSB has not given the PWF a single penny from its annual grant. Pakistan is expected to field seven male and five female fighters in the Asiad in Indonesia.

Most of the fighters in the camp are young and need international exposure with the exception of Maaz Khan who is a seasoned fighter, having represented Pakistan in many international events.In the National Championship held in Lahore recently, WAPDA’s Amir tasted an upset defeat at the hands of Saddam of Army in the 65kg final.

But the PWF official said that selection for the Asian Games would be made on the basis of trials to be conducted during the camp.In the 2006 Doha Asian Games, Syed Maratab Ali Shah claimed bronze medal in 70kg men’s sansho.

In the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, Ijaz Ahmed picked silver in 75kg. In the 2014 Icheon Asian Games, Maratab secured bronze.Pakistan also claimed three bronze in wushu in the Islamic Games in Baku last year. Five fighters had been fielded without any official that raised many eyebrows.

China and Iran are Asia’s leading nations in wushu. They are followed by Pakistan. In 2010 Asian Games, Pakistan stood second, while China were third and Iran first. Pakistan is expected to compete in 29 or 30 disciplines in the Asian Games. The strength of Pakistan’s contingent will be finalised after a meeting of the PSB and Pakistan Olympic Association (POA).

Training camps of some disciplines are in operation, while some are yet to begin.The federations have started forwarding the names of probable players to the POA for the Asian Games.