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October 16, 2019

Inam clinches World Beach Games gold medal

Sports

October 16, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan’s premier wrestler Mohammad Inam once again made Pakistan proud when he won gold medal at the World Beach Games wrestling event in Doha late Monday night.

He beat Olympic bronze medallist Marsagishvili Dato of Georgia in the 90 kilogramme competitions final. At one stage, the two-time world beach wrestling champion Inam was trailing 0-2, but the Gujranwala grappler made a stunning fightback to emerge victorious 5-2.

Dato is one of the finest wrestlers in the world and is adept in mat wrestling. He has to his credit bronze medals in 2011 Istanbul World Championships and 2012 London Olympics. Inam was off to a flying start when he defeated Andrade Da Silver Adao of Portugal 3-0 in the first round. He then downed Marsagishvili Dato of Georgia in his second fight before edging past Ozkan Murat of Turkey 1-0. He then defeated Azerbaijan’s Kanan Aliyev 3-1 before overcoming Garcia Perez Pedro Jacinto of Spain 3-0 in the semi-finals.

Inam dedicated the gold to the people of Pakistan and occupied Kashmir who are facing India’s barbarism. “I dedicate this medal to the Pakistani nation and people of Kashmir,” Inam said after his splendid win. “I am also thankful to the Pakistan government, Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), Sports Board Punjab (SBP) and GEPCO and WAPDA management who always support me,” Inam said.

He also thanked former Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik and fast bowler Wahab Riaz who congratulated him. “It’s great when players support each other. When I won gold the POA chief Lt Gen Arif Hasan called me and the secretary also called me and I am very thankful to them that my achievement was appreciated,” Inam said.

Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) secretary Arshad Sattar, who accompanied Inam as coach-cum-manager, said that Inam was the pride of Pakistan. “He is a great asset,” he added. “His win is a ray of hope for Pakistani athletes,” he said.

Inam, who won world beach titles in 2017 and 2018 in Turkey, was the only athlete from Pakistan at the World Beach Games.

Inam had qualified for the event when he grabbed a silver medal at the Beach World Series in Brazil early this year. Inam also has to his credit gold medals at 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

He will now compete in National Games, South Asian Games and Olympic qualifiers in the next few months. Early this year, he missed Asian Championships for financial reasons. He also failed to feature in the Beach World Series in Ukraine and Croatia because of financial and fitness issues.

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