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August 4, 2020

Asif Machliwala, a long-jumping talent

Sports

August 4, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Asif Machliwala, a young fisherman, has sent ripples in the Pakistan athletics circles by jumping over 11 motorcycles and landing on his feet, staking a claim as a potential candidate for international long and triple jump competitions.

After this correspondent put a video of Asif’s feat on Twitter, it became an instant hit as more than 350,000 people had watched and liked it by the time this report was filed. “I have been doing this for fun and I believe that I can easily touch the 25-feet mark in the long jump, though I have never measured it,” Asif said while talking to ‘The News’.

“The video that you have posted on Twitter was sort of a fun activity in my native town in Thatta. I am fond of athletics and want to become an athlete. I help my father in the fish business and we travel between Karachi and Thatta for the purpose,” he said.

Asif has no clue of any athletics record. Currently the Asian long jump record stands at 27.82 feet. The matter was brought to the knowledge of Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) president Maj Gen (r) Akram Sahi, who took little time in reaching out to the talented youngster. “The moment I saw your message about this youngster, I left my breakfast halfway and deputed my coaches to locate him. Only minutes later I was told that Asif Machliwala has immense talent for athletics and wants to become an athlete,” General Sahi said.

“Since his video was amazing I talked to him and told him not to try any more stunts as he could get injured. Instead, I have asked him to meet me in Lahore along with his father. “There is no denying the fact that Asif has amazing potential and now we want to channelise this potential into a medal winning one at the Asian and world level. The AFP will train him and look after him. A coach will be deputed with him so that he can get the most modern and latest coaching on how to improve on his talent,” General Sahi added.

The amazing part of Asif’s jump is that during flight he flips his legs like a professional athletes though he has never received any training. “This is just to cover more distance and has come naturally,” Asif said.

He has also jumped over canals and covered other challenging distances for fun. “I have been told by general sahib to come to Lahore with my father. I want to become an athlete and pursue this career. I don’t know anything about it. I want to showcase this talent to everyone and I am ready for it,” he said. A few years back no one had any clue about javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem and now he has qualified for the Olympic Games. He looks all set to become a world beater.