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September 9, 2019

Inam urges govt to hold camp for World Beach Games


September 9, 2019

KARACHI: Eyeing crown in the World Beach Games Pakistan’s premier wrestler Mohammad Inam on Sunday said that the federal government should hold a camp of five or six top wrestlers so that he could do some good training with them for the major event.

“I am the lone athlete who will be representing Pakistan in the World Beach Games. It is very important that the federal government holds a camp,” the two-time World Beach Championships winner told The News in an interview. “So far our request for the camp has not been granted and I am training at Gujranwala on my own,” he added.

The World Beach Games are slated to be held in Doha from October 12 to 16. Inam said that leading ten grapplers in each weight have qualified for the mega event in Doha from around the world. “If a camp is held, it will facilitate me a lot. If we are able to train at Lahore for a month then it will benefit me a lot,” Inam was quick to add.

“Only one person has qualified. If the country does not want a medal then it is okay. If it wants a medal then there should be some camp. If we cannot facilitate even a single person for such a high level event then sports should be stopped. We see that sports gymnasiums are being established but what is their utility if this infrastructure does not benefit even a single player who can fetch medal!” said Inam, who qualified for the World Beach Games after claiming silver medal in the Beach Wrestling World Series in Brazil early this year. He was expected to also feature in the Beach Wrestling World Series which concludes in Zagreb, Croatia, on Monday (today) but could not do so due to fitness and visa issues.

“I could not go to Croatia due to two reasons. The main reason is that two months back I developed an injury while training at Gujranwala. I rested for one and a half month. Now I have started my training and feel better. The second reason was that Croatia has no embassy in Pakistan. We had to travel to Iran for getting visa. Financial issues are before you. There is no support from the government,” Inam said.

He expressed his dissatisfaction over the overall condition of sports in Pakistan. “Overall Pakistan’s sports are in dire straits. The camps of most sports disciplines have not yet been held. Since 2018 Asian Games there has been no camp. And all top players have been at home. The athletes of track and field also suffer a lot. See there is no athletics track in the big Gujranwala division. If an athlete of mainstream belongs to this area and there is no camp what will he do!” he said. “There are a lot of crises. Dr Fehmida Mirza is not doing anything for sports. We are doing training on our own,” he said.

“If I talk about wrestling, you can see India’s 50-member contingent (30 grapplers, 20 officials) is set to feature in the World Championships after a few days in Kazakhstan. This is the biggest Olympic qualifying round and top six in each weight will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” Inam said.

“On the other hand we have nothing in front of us. We have no camp and no activity,” the grappler lamented. Nur Sultan will host the World Championships from September 14 to 21. Inam has been the star athlete of the country for years. Besides having won two titles of the World Beach Wrestling Championships, the Gujranwala grappler also has to his credit two Commonwealth Games gold medals. He won these golds in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and 2018 Gold Coast (Australia) Commonwealth Games. In Australia, he was the lone Pakistani athlete who claimed gold. Early this year, he won Rustam-e-Pakistan title.

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