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May 16, 2019

Inam says he needs financial support for Ukraine, Croatia events

Sports

May 16, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan’s premier wrestler Mohammad Inam on Wednesday said that despite qualifying for the World Beach Games he would need to feature in the coming two events of the Beach Wrestling World Series in the next few months.

“I have made it to the World Beach Games by winning a silver medal in the Beach Wrestling World Series in Brazil but I still need to take part in World Series events to be held in August in Ukraine and in September in Croatia,” he told ‘The News’ in an interview after returning from Brazil.

“Featuring in these events will help me not only prepare for the World Beach Games but it will also help me keep my world ranking intact,” Inam said.

“I am now World No2, just short of the top-ranked Dato Marsagishvili of Georgia on points. But the ones behind us are quite close. If I did not participate in Ukraine event they would surpass me and my ranking would drop. So it’s very important for me to take part in in both these events,” Inam said.

“Ukraine, you know, has several world champions in my weight category. It will be a much tougher event. And playing in that competitive environment will help me learn more ahead of the World Beach Games,” he said.

He said the same was the case of Croatia. He added that the top eight in his weight category had already been finalised for the World Beach Games with the Brazil event.“The leading eight have already qualified for the World Beach Games. One seat will be taken by America as hosts while one will be given as wild card to any other country,” the two-time world beach champion said.

Inam last Saturday finished with a silver medal when he was beaten by Dato Marsagishvili of Georgia 2-0 in the 90 kilogramme final of the Beach Wrestling World Series in Rio de Janeiro.

Inam still qualified for the World Beach Games slated to be held in San Diego, USA, in October. In the semi-finals, the Gujranwala grappler had downed Grigorios Kriaridis of Greece 3-0. Before that Inam showed his class by beating Wanderson Messias Da Silva Lima of Brazil 4-0 in the quarter-final.

On the opening day Inam whacked Murat Ozkan of Turkey and Kanan Aliyev of Azerbaijan. Inam said that he was proud to have got silver medal in Rio de Janeiro event.

“Winning silver at the world event is always great. I am very happy to finish at the victory podium,” Inam said.He featured in the Rio event while facing financial crisis. And for featuring in Ukraine and Croatia World Series, he needs support.

“I need support for these events. If the government has no funds it can convince multinational companies to support me,” Inam said. Inam said that they had already sent a proposal to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) for support.

“So far no encouraging response has been received,” the two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist said. Sports Board Punjab is expected to meet some expenses of Inam’s Brazil trip.

He appreciated the efforts of Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) to support him.“When I finished second in Rio the POA Secretary Khalid Mehmood sent me a text message, congratulating me on my achievements. And the POA President Lt Gen (retd) Syed Arif Hasan told me when I returned that he would have come to the airport to receive me had I informed him about the schedule. This was very encouraging,” Inam said.

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