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November 14, 2019

AFP to send five leading athletes to China for training

Sports

November 14, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) is sending five leading athletes to China on November 28 for a couple of months’ training, a senior official of the federation told ‘The News’ here on Wednesday.

The AFP chief Major General (retd) Mohammad Akram Sahi said that the tour has been managed through the assistance of the Chinese embassy. The athletes to be sent include the country’s premier javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem, 400m hurdler Olympian Mehboob Ali, sprinter Uzair, 110m hurdler Mohammad Naeem and high jumper Shehroz.

“This tour will enable our athletes to learn and improve their technique,” said Sahi, also a former international triple jumper.

He said that training in China would also help them to perform in effective way at the SAFF Championship which will be organised by Bangladesh next year. Sahi said that the AFP is trying its level best to promote athletics. He specially mentioned javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem, saying he is Pakistan’s Olympics hope and would be given every opportunity to press for an Olympics seat.

“The 13th South Asian Games is the best chance for Arshad and I am confident that he will put in his best in that event to qualify for Olympics,” Sahi said.

Arshad recently in Doha set a new national record when he managed an 81.52m throw at the IAAF World Championships, beating his previous best 80.75m which had fetched for the Mian Channu-born athlete bronze medal at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia last year. Sahi said that if supported by state, the AFP will manage foreign coaches for some of the events in which the country has talent.

He said that hiring a foreign coach was very expensive and AFP alone will not be able to meet all the financial requirements. “The state input is a must,” he said. It is not yet known how many athletes will be sent to Nepal for featuring in the 13th South Asian Games slated to be held in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Sahi said the country was brimming with immense talent, adding, it was important for the country to take sports professionally which is the only way to develop the game.

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