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October 20, 2019

Pak fighters kick-start World Wushu campaign today

Sports

October 20, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistani fighters will begin their journey at the 15th World Wushu Championships in Shanghai, China on Sunday (today) .

In the event, Pakistan is fielding three fighters including medal hope Maaz Khan, Mohammad Atif and Mohammad Taimur Javed.

Maaz will show his worth in the 75 kilogramme, Atif will compete in the 65kg and Taimur will show his worth in the 70kg.

Maaz is expected to produce some stunning performance in the global event. Pakistan Wushu Federation (PWF) also has expectations from the fighter who is experienced enough to pull off desired performance in the most competitive environment.

“I expect a lot from Maaz. If he beats Iranian fighter in his first round then surely he will reach the final as the other fighters in his weight are not that much tough and he can beat them” PWF president Malik Iftikhar told ‘The News’ from Lahore on Saturday.

“There is also no Chinese fighter in Maaz’s weight and it also may benefit him if he beats the Iranian,” Malik pointed out.

Maaz will face Iran’s Yousef Sabriabibegloo in the round of 16 on Sunday (today).

“Iran has great fighters. Although Yousef is a fresh boy but you cannot say that he is weak. They all are tough,” Malik said.

“But Maaz has improved a lot and is a solid fighter. He can do anything,” he was quick to add.

Pakistani fighters underwent 15-day training at Lahore. The federation managed the whole expenses of the camp.

But the tour as a whole was a joint effort from the PWF, fighters and some others.

“It’s really a joint effort and this is how we have managed to send our three fighters to China,” Malik said.

The state has not been funding PWF for the last four years. And this has created great problems for the federation as it is single-handedly trying to manage the sport in which Pakistan has a lot of talent.

“If there is no support from any cordon then certainly something will have to be done by ourselves,” Malik said.

Mohammad Atif will face Jordan’s Abushairah Mohammad in the men’s 65 kilogramme round of 32, also on Sunday (today).

“Atif is a young boy and it is his first international event. But he is a solid fighter and can produce good results,” Malik added. Atif belongs to Swat.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Taimur Javed has got bye in the round of 32 and will play in the round of 16 against the winner of the round of 32 fight which will be held between Tuan Anh LE of Vietnam and Zhumadyl Kambar UULU of Kyrgyzstan.

“If Kyrgyzstan wins this fight then Taimur can beat that player. But if Vietnam wins then it would be more tough for Taimur to win then. Vietnam is close to China so this sport has grown well in that area also,” Malik said.

Malik said that the tour would also help the boys to learn ahead of the South Asian Games slated to be held in Nepal’s cities of Kathmandu and Pokhara from December 1-10.

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