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Sports

May 17, 2018

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Asian Games

Pakistan may field sailors in four classes

By Alam Zeb Safi

KARACHI: Pakistan Sailing Federation (PSAF) plans to field its sailors in four classes in the Asian Games pencilled in for August 18 to September 2 in Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang.“We have forwarded the nominations to the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA),” PSAF secretary Commander Akram Tariq told ‘The News’ on Wednesday.

“If the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) approves it, we will be able to field six sailors in the Asian Games in four different classes: 470, Laser Standard, RS:X and Laser 4.7,” Tariq said. In Laser 4.7, sailors from 15 to 17 years of age will take part.

Pakistan has performed well in sailing at the Asian level in the past. Pakistan secured a silver medal at 2002 Busan Asian Games. In the Asian Games history, sailing has fetched for Pakistan three silver and two bronze medals.

According to Tariq, the camp has been in progress at the Clifton beach for the last three weeks.“The sailors practise in two sessions daily. The first session is from 10am to 12 noon and the second from 2pm to 4:30pm,” the official said.

Tariq said that the standard is very high at the Asian Games but Pakistan sailors would put in their best. “Sailing is a technical sport and demands a lot of quality training. But I hope Pakistan will give solid performance in at least a couple of classes,” Tariq said.

However, he was quick to add that it depended on the kind of preparation the players make. “It all depends on the preparation. Malaysian sailors have been in Europe for the last four months. And it matters a lot because such exposure enables the sailors to prepare well,” he said.

He revealed that Pakistan would be featuring in the 17th Asian Sailing Championships in Ancol, Jakarta, from June 8 to 24. “Asian Championship is very important as it is being held at the place which will host the Asian Games sailing competitions. The Asian Championship will help the sailors know the environment and other related things ahead of the Asian Games. Besides the four classes in which we want to feature in the Asian Games we will also feature in the Asian Championships in Optimist Class in which under-15 boys and girls participate,” Tariq said.

He also said that Pakistan team, featuring Rehmanullah and Khalid Hussain, returned to Karachi from Japan on Wednesday after training there for a few days.Tariq said that he had taken tough steps for the promotion of sailing. He said the PSAF had been investing a lot in RS:X and 470 in which Pakistan in the past had some good standing in international circuit. He said they would try to stage a mega international event in Pakistan in 2020. “It is certainly in the plans,” he said.

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