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February 17, 2020

Olympic qualifiers from March 3: Pak boxers set to depart for Jordan

Sports

February 17, 2020

ISLAMABAD: With leading boxers all set to depart for Jordan for the Olympic qualifying round, the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) has not responded positively to repeated requests from the Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) for help in camp training and squad travelling and participation.

Col (rtd) Nasir Tung, secretary PBF confirmed to The News that six-member boxing team has been finalised to compete in the Olympic qualifying round to be held in Jordon from March 3 to 14.

The boxers selected for the Olympic qualifier are Syed Muhammad Asif (52kg) ,Naqeeb Ullah (57kg), Gulzaib (69kg), Mahmood ul Hassan (75kg), Awais Ali Khan and Sana Ullah (91kg) are set to participate in the qualifying round. “We have sent three letters to the Ministry for IPC for financial help and support for training camps and ultimate participation in the Olympic qualifying round. On all occasions we did not get any favourable response.

First letter was sent where we requested for help in training and team’s participation in the Olympic Qualifying round. They definitely responded to first letter saying that boxers did not perform to satisfaction in the South Asian Games this time. The fact of the matter is that our boxers performed outstandingly in the Games despite being deprived of training camps ahead of Nepal Games. Our results were much better that previous SA Games.” He said that federation again requested for help through another letter recently. “We wanted to shift the camp from Rawalpindi to Peshawar enabling boxers to get training in company with the Air Force boxers. We are still waiting for Ministry’s or Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) response. Time is running out for us as we are almost ten days away from sending our boxers for Olympic qualifications,” he said.

Secretary PBF was hopefully of earning Olympic spots amid the toughest of field that would see leading Asia and Oceania countries boxers flexing their muscles. “It would not be an ordinary outing for the Pakistan boxers as leading Asia and Oceania countries aspirants would emerge to compete for coveted Olympic places. The competition would be fierce to say the least and Asia and Oceania have some of world’s best boxer. Still I believe with the hard work we are putting in we would not let go the opportunity easily.”

“These boxers have been training for quite some weeks now and are getting ready for important event in a best possible way.” Apart from medals in hockey, Pakistan had previously won only two medals in Olympics-with latest in 1988 in boxing through Hussain Shah.

“We know well that during Anwar Chaudhry era as president International Boxing Association (AIBA), we made strides in international boxing and ultimately Pakistan won bronze in 1988. Since then we did not have a roadmap to follow to help boxers get the required recognition. There had been a lull period for almost 10 years where progress had been slow. Now momentum is there and we want to cash in on that good work started in recent times,” secretary PBF said.

Col (rtd) Nasir Tung Saud that even if he failed to get support from government, efforts are on to get required support from sponsors. “Federation President Mohammad Khalid Mehmood is trying hard to get the required sponsors and hopefully we would succeed in getting financial support.”