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January 11, 2020

Four Pakistani weightlifters to feature at Tashkent event

Sports

January 11, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan will be sending four weightlifters to Tashkent next month to feature in the 6th International Solidarity Weightlifting Championships. The event will be organised from February 8-12.

The weightlifters to be sent include Talha Talib (67kg), Haider Ali (81kg), Zohaib (96kg) and Mohammad Nooh Dastgir Butt (+100kg).

Pakistan Weightlifting Federation’s (PWF) secretary Amjad Amin Butt told ‘The News’ on Friday that the federation has forwarded all the required documents to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB). “Let’s see what happens,” Butt said.

Butt said if the Board agrees then he will request for an official camp. “Currently the four weightlifters are undergoing training on their own,” he was quick to add. Meanwhile, the PSB on Friday confirmed that PWF has approached it for NOC for participation in the event.

The event is being held under the umbrella of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation. Weightlifters from Asian countries will feature in the said event. It also serves as qualifiers for this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Talha and Nooh are Pakistan’s highly talented weightlifters and the event will be a testing one for the duo to improve their Olympic ranking. These two weightlifters have already featured in a handful of Olympic qualifiers. However due to lack of proper patronage both might face a huge hurdle in making it to the world’s most prestigious sports event.

Talha, who clinched gold in the 13th South Asian Games in Nepal recently, told ‘The News’ that his main goal was to make it to this year’s Olympics and for that he had been training regularly.

“My main target is to qualify for Olympics and I am training for that all time,” Talha said. He admitted that qualifying for Olympics was a hard target. “It’s really a big target but I am trying my best and let’s see what happens,” the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games bronze medallist said.

Talha’s world raking is 22nd. At the end of the qualifying events, the ultimate points collected by him will decide his Olympic fate. In April, Pakistani weightlifters will also take part in the Asian Championships which will be held in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan.