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July 21, 2018

Confident Nooh sets sights on 2020 Olympics


July 21, 2018

KARACHI: Pakistan’s rookie weightlifter Nooh Dastgir Butt has said that he can qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics if given a chance to play in most of the Olympic qualifying events which will begin after the Asian Games in Indonesia.

“It’s my target to make it to the 2020 Olympics. I think there should not be any problem for me. But the important thing is that Pakistan Weightlifting Federation (PWF) should send me to all major events which will serve as qualifiers for the 2020 Olympics,” Nooh told ‘The News’ in an interview from Gujranwala on Friday.

The 20-year-old weightlifter a few days ago made Pakistan proud when he snared gold in clean and jerk and a bronze each in snatch and total in the World Junior Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent. It was the first time that Pakistan featured in the global junior event.To a question whether he will need any foreign coach or foreign training for his constant growth, Nooh said that he would certainly need both the things.

“I will need both. Certainly a foreign expert coach matters a lot in a player’s growth and so does foreign training. But foreign training for one or two months will be of no use as in such a short time it is not possible for a player to adjust. If a player trains for five to six months under a foreign coach on foreign soil then it can make the difference,” the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games bronze medallist said.

Nooh, who is also the +105kg champion of the 2017 Commonwealth Junior Championships, also aims to put in his best in the 18th Asian Games slated to be held in Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2.

“This year’s Asian Games will be my first event and I will try my level best to perform. I will try to finish fourth or fifth, which would be a huge success as you know Asia is the toughest region of the world which has Olympic and world champions,” Nooh said.

Nooh’s personal best in snatch is 180kg, in clean and jerk 230kg and in total 410kg which shows the youngster has the chance to grow.He is training at his home in Gujranwala under the supervision of his father Ghulam Dastgir Butt, himself a former international and a bronze medallist of the 1984 Asian Championships.

When asked when he would be able to lift a medal in the Asian Games, he said in the 2022 Asiad he would surely get a medal.“If I continue my growth in the same manner then I will be able to snare a medal for the country in the 2022 Asian Games,” Nooh said.

About Tashkent World Junior Championship, Nooh said that he had targetted two gold but his snatch was not good.“I had aimed to capture two gold medals but unfortunately in snatch I could not deliver and had to content with a bronze,” Nooh conceded.

Nooh in Tashkent lifted 228 kg weight in his second attempt to finish with the gold in clean and jerk. In snatch, he lifted 171 kg to finish with a bronze. Nooh finished with 399 kg in total too to end with a bronze.

In 2017, Nooh got silver in the Commonwealth Championships and then in the same year ended at the sixth spot in the Islamic Games in Baku, Azerbaijan. He got fourth position in 2016 Asian Junior Championships, claimed silver in the Junior Commonwealth Championships the same year before ending with a bronze in the 2016 Senior Commonwealth Championships.

In the 2016 Asian Championships, he finished at 11th place. He is also the gold medallist of the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Championships, finished with a bronze in the 2015 Commonwealth Championships and got gold in the 2015 Commonwealth Junior Championships. He also claimed bronze in the 2015 29th Men’s Asian Junior Championships and gold in the 17th Asian Youth Championships the same year.

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