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June 3, 2020

PKF to raise strong side for Asian Beach Games

Sports

June 3, 2020

KARACHI: It is not yet known whether China would be able to host the 6th Asian Beach Games which have been pencilled in for November 18 to December 6 in Sanya. If it is held then Pakistan Kabaddi Federation (PKF) would like to raise a strong side so that it could defend the title.

“Yes, definitely, if things get better, hard work would be made for the event if it it goes as per schedule,” PKF Secretary Mohammad Sarwar told ‘The News’ in an informal chat. In 2016 Asian Games held in Vietnam, Pakistan kabaddi team won the title, beating India in the final 30-28.

Knowing deeply the issues which have been created with the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, Sarwar said that currently no practice is possible as kabaddi is a body contact game. “No, nothing is possible as kabaddi is a body contact game. We have to follow the guidelines of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), International Kabaddi Federation and Pakistan Olympic Association,” said Sarwar, also a former Pakistan captain.

When asked where he would like to hold camp for the China event, Sarwar said Karachi would be his favourite place. “It would be of high value if we were able to get a camp at Karachi. It has the best beach environment where oxygen level is also different and such thing will help the players,” Sarwar said. “We will need at least two months training there and some physical training in Islamabad,” Sarwar said.

However, he stressed all these things depend on the COVID-19 situation and it is also not yet certain whether the continental beach spectacle will be held as per schedule.

“OCA will take the decision,” the official said. When asked how Pakistan’s players are keeping themselves fit during the lockdown, Sarwar said as majority of them live in rural areas, running on roads and some physical work at home is enough.

However, he said that as kabaddi is a team game, team practice is not possible. “Yes, it indeed would not be easy to bring the team into rhythm after the COVID-19. We will plan when the situation gets better,” Sarwar said. Pakistan has decided to compete in seven disciplines in the 6th Asian Beach Games: kabaddi, volleyball, wrestling, athletics, ju-jitsu, handball and sailing.