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May 17, 2021

PWF plans open trials for Commonwealth Championships camp

KARACHI: Pakistan Weightlifting Federation (PWF) plans to hold open trials at Lahore to pick athletes for the camp for the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships from June 21-23.

“Yes, we plan to hold open trials for the event which also will serve as qualifiers for the 2021 Commonwealth Games,” PWF secretary Amjad Amin Butt told ‘The News’ in an interview on Sunday. Singapore will host the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in October this year.

“We will pick weightlifters in youth, juniors and seniors categories. We have a huge chance of winning many more medals if we are able to send more weightlifters to Singapore,” Butt said.

“Our plan is to hold the camp immediately after the trials. We also request the state to fully back us in our plan as we want to produce top results in the Singapore event,” Butt said.

“Besides seniors we have a hugely talented young lot, both in juniors and youth, and if we work hard with them at this level it can ensure a bright future for our game,” Butt said.

Currently Talha Talib, who recently won bronze in the Asian Championships in Uzbekistan, is the top seed in the Commonwealth region. He is certain to win gold in the Singapore event in the 67 kg category.

Nooh Dastgir Butt, who competes in heavyweight category, has also a solid chance of a gold medal in Singapore.

“Yes, Talha is a sure gold. Nooh is a top player. He was a bit unsettled due to injuries but now he is okay and hopefully he will be in top gear by then,” Butt said.

“We must field a bigger lot in the Singapore event which will help us earn more seats in the Commonwealth Games where we can this time fight for the gold. Last time we claimed two bronze in the Commonwealth Games in Australia. We want to improve our performance at that stage also,” he said.

Butt said if the government extended help then the federation would like to hold a continuous camp till the 2023 South Asian Games which would be hosted by Pakistan in Punjab.

“We want to keep our weightlifters in constant practice until the South Asian Games,” he said.

Next year Asian Games will also be held.

Butt said that the PWF wanted to develop weightlifting in tribal districts, Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan and Azad Kashmir also.

“In these areas stout players can be found and we plan to create such an atmosphere in these zones where youth could be attracted towards weightlifting. Our mission is to hold inter-provincial events on rotation basis in these areas which will help us attract more youngsters,” Butt said.

He said that Talha’s Olympics fate would be known after the qualifiers ended. “Qualifiers are still in progress. When these end final standings will be calculated. Let’s see what happens,” Butt said.

He said that hiring a foreign coach could be productive but it was not possible without government support.

“We have the experience of taking the services of a foreign coach and it always helps but the issue is that the federation does not have such resources for that. Yes, if the state helps us then we can manage a foreign coach ahead of all these major events,” Butt said.