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August 23, 2019

PKF plans to prepare strong lot for 2022 Asian Games

Sports

August 23, 2019

KARACHI: Keeping in view the competitive environment in kabaddi, Pakistan Kabaddi Federation (PKF) plans to prepare a strong lot for the 2022 Asian Games slated to be held in Hangzhou, China.

“Asian Games 2022 is our target,” PKF secretary Mohammad Sarwar told ‘The News’ in an interview on Thursday. In the 2018 Asian Games held in Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang, Pakistan and India, once mighty powers, finished with bronze medal. Iran won the title with South Korea ending as the runners-up in the quadrennial event.

Before that, in seven Asian Games editions, India were the sole winners, as they had swept all the titles since the Games debut in 1990. Pakistan remained runners-up twice and finished with bronze medals for five times.

Bangladesh finished as runners-up three times and got bronze medals twice. Iran have one gold and two silver medals to their credit in the Asian Games. The PKF is lucky to have got a couple of very important events which will help it test its under-20 players for the Asiad.

Pakistan are set to feature in the Junior World Cup (Asian style) which will be held in Iran in November. The PKF plans to begin preparation for the inaugural global event which was finalised at a meeting of the world kabaddi governing body (IKF) in Chinese Taipei recently.

“We are going to hold a camp in Islamabad from Monday to prepare the under-20 squad for the Junior World Cup,” Sarwar said. He said that 20 boys had been picked through inter-division kabaddi championship held recently which was won by Peshawar division. “Besides Punjab, we got good talent from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A couple of players were also picked from Sindh and Quetta,” said Sarwar, also secretary of Asian Kabaddi Federation (AKF).

The officials for the camp are yet to be finalised, said Sarwar, also a former Pakistan captain. “We will also hold open trials in Islamabad in September,” he said. He added that near the end of September, Iran's under-20 outfit would tour Pakistan for a series. He said it would help both sides prepare for the Junior World Cup. He also revealed that in 2020 Pakistan would also feature in the Asian Junior Championship in Bangladesh.

“Immediately after that event we will try to arrange a training tour for the juniors,” Sarwar said. To a query, Sarwar said that Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) had been helping the PKF in its efforts to train the junior lot for the World Cup. “The PSB is fully backing us,” he said.

About Pakistan’s preparations for the 13th South Asian Games, Sarwar said departments had already held their camps for the National Games. “As per the PSB policy the camps for the South Asian Games would be held after National Games,” he said.

National Games are slated to be held in Peshawar from October 26 to November 1. The SAG are being hosted by Nepal in Kathmandu and Pokhara from December 1-10. India also have a strong record in SAG, having won nine titles from 1985 to 2016. Pakistan won the crown in 1993 edition. Pakistan also have six silver medals and three bronze medals to their credit in the biennial spectacle.

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