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April 22, 2021

PWF demands govt support for Talha


April 22, 2021

KARACHI: Showing satisfaction over the progress of the country’s premier weightlifter Talha Talib, Pakistan Weightlifting Federation (PWF) secretary Amjad Amin Butt has said Talha can win a medal in the World Championship in snatch if he is given some support.

“He has kept our prestige and won snatch bronze in the Asian Championship here,” Butt told ‘The News’ from Tashkent, Usbekistan, in an interview. “He is growing fast. If he is backed he can win snatch medal in the World Championship,” he added.

Talha in Tashkent on Monday won snatch bronze in the 67 kilogramme weight category with an 148kg effort in the Asian Championship — also a new national record.

The Asian Championship is a qualifier for this year’s Tokyo Olympics. Butt is hopeful that Talha may qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. His qualification fate will be decided after the final world rankings which will be finalised after the April 30 deadline.

“I had a talk with a senior official of International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and he sees an Olympic chance for Talha. It will be decided after the aggregate rankings are calculated in near future,” Butt said.

“The IWF will intimate us about Talha’s rankings and his Olympics fate. Let’s see what happens,” the official said.

Talha finished fifth in clean and jerk with 167kg and ended fourth in total with 315kg in Tashkent.

“It does not mean that Talha is not good in clean and jerk but his snatch is the best,” the official was quick to add.

“He had even managed 150kg in snatch during training. He is heading towards achieving the global standard,” Butt said.

This was the sixth qualifying event which Talha played. And it was also a compulsory event for Talha who had rigorous training at his home under the supervision of his father, who is a weightlifting coach.

There will be 56 men and as many women qualifying for Olympics from across the globe. And 35 men and 35 women will also make it to the Tokyo Games on the basis of continental quotas. Three men’s seats and as many women’s seats have been reserved for the host country.

The qualification phase started on November 1, 2018, and ends on April 30, 2021.

The PWF had also sent Nooh Dastgir Butt’s entry in the Asian Championship but he could not proceed due to an injury, a PWF official said.

Butt requested the state to back weightlifting. “We have a good nursery but we need state’s patronage. We need infrastructure and equipment. We need regular grants.

“You know due to Covid there were many issues. We reached here in around 30 hours which was a tiresome journey through connected flights. At such events, we need three coaches to manage an athlete’s warm-up before the competition and we had only one here. There were also some lapses on our part,” Butt conceded.

The PWF has not received its annual grant during the last two and a half years. “After returning home I will meet the newly-appointed Director General of Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Col (retd) Asif Zaman and will brief him about where we are and what we need to develop the sport further,” Butt said.

Talha, also a 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, may also press for an Olympics seat on the basis of the IOC Tripartite Commission places which are four each for both genders.