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December 9, 2019

Pakistan fourth in SAG despite five more gold medals


December 9, 2019

KARACHI: It was another productive day for Pakistan in the 13th South Asian Games in Nepal as the country won five more gold medals with the nation’s premier wrestler Mohammad Inam defending his title in Kathmandu on Sunday.

Weightlifters Hanzala Dastgir and Nooh Dastgir, Pakistan men’s handball team and squash player Tayyab Aslam were the others to win gold medals on the eighth day of the spectacle. Their achievements inflated Pakistan’s gold tally to 29. The nation, trailing fourth on medals table, had also secured 33 silver and 56 bronze medals when this report was filed.

India led the table with 132 gold, 79 silvers and 41 bronze. They were followed by Nepal (45-44-76) and Sri Lanka (36-68-93).

Inam, who had also won gold in 2016 SAG in India, was trailing 4-6 in the first round in his third and last league fight of the 92 kilogramme competitions against Nepal’s wrestler Sumit Kumar. However, he smartly used his experience and through double leg technique overcame his rival in the second round to defend his crown.

Inam had beaten wrestlers from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the event held under league basis.

Inam’s was the third gold in wrestling as Abdul Rehman (79kg) and Inayatullah (70kg) had won gold medals on Saturday.

“Overall, Pakistan have won around 100 medals,” Inam said. “All sports bodies of Pakistan deserve accolades,” he added.

“Whenever I play for Pakistan I try to hoist the flag of my country and today I gave another gold to Pakistan,” he said. Meanwhile, wrestler Mohammad Bilal (61kg) went down to India’s Ravinder in the final and had to be content with silver. Bilal is the cousin of Inam.

Umair Butt also got silver when he lost his 86kg final to India’s Pawan Kumar. Pakistan had fielded seven wrestlers and finished their journey in the discipline with three gold and four silver medals.

In men’s handball, Pakistan did a fine job to win gold when they ousted arch-rivals India 29-27 in the final. This is the second gold for Pakistan in the history of the Games since this sport was included in the biennial spectacle in 2010 Dhaka SAG when Pakistan claimed gold by beating India by six goals margin. In the 2016 edition, Pakistan got silver when they went down to India by one goal difference.

“I am happy that we won the final. The big issue is that there is no flooring in Pakistan which is used in international level,” a senior official of Pakistan Handball Federation (PHF) told ‘The News’ from Pokhara.

Pakistan women handball team went down to Bangladesh 31-15 in the third position match. On Saturday, Pakistan had lost to Nepal 22-21 in the semi-final. Pakistan’s cause was hurt in the last few minutes when a key player had to leave after receiving a grievous nose injury, it was learnt.

It was another fantastic day for Pakistan in weightlifting as the nation won two more gold medals, finishing the journey with five gold medals and one silver. Pakistan fielded seven men weightlifters. Out of them, one did not feature because of sickness.

In 109kg, Hanzala Dastgir Butt got gold by lifting 331kg (150+181). The country’s premier weightlifter Nooh Dastgir Butt also lived up to the billing in +109kg when he won the title with a total weight of 380 (165+215).

Usman Amjad Rathore (102kg), Haider Ali (81kg) and Talha Talib (67kg) had already won gold medals in weightlifting. Abu Sufyan (73kg) got silver. Pakistan topped men’s weightlifting event with a superb showing.

Pakistan have also taken one silver and one bronze in women weightlifting and if both are combined then the country finished in weightlifting with five gold medals, two silver and one bronze.

In boxing, Mohammad Asif (52kg) and Gul Zeb (69kg) blasted their way into finals which will be held on Tuesday (tomorrow).

Asif defeated Kuda Vithanage Lasindu Eranda of Sri Lanka in the flyweight semi-final. Gul defeated a Bangladeshi boxer in the semi-final.

In 81kg semi-final, Awais Ali Khan faced a knock-out defeat at the hands of a Sri Lankan boxer.

Sanaullah will compete in super heavyweight final on Monday (today). Women boxers Rukhsana Parveen, Razia Bano and Mehreen lost their respective semi-finals and had to be content with bronze medals.

In judo, Pakistan’s Humaira Ashiq (48kg), Mohammad Hasnain (66kg) and Tokyo-based Amina Toyoda (56kg) won bronze medals. In the team category of 10-metre Air Pistol event, Pakistan claimed bronze medal.

Tayyab Aslam won gold medal by beating Harindar Pal Singh of India 3-1 in the individual category final. Farhan Mehboob won bronze medal in the same category. Madina Zafar and Faiza Zafar have also won bronze medals. Pakistan’s ambassador to Nepal Dr Mazhar Jamil on Sunday hosted a dinner for Pakistan’s contingent chef de mission and IPC secretary Akbar Durrani and Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president Lt Gen (retd) Arif Hasan.