Tuesday May 17, 2022

Asian Games: Chinese coach hired to prepare Pak wushu players

January 16, 2022
Asian Games: Chinese coach hired to prepare Pak wushu players

KARACHI: Pakistan Wushu Federation (PWF) have hired the services of a Chinese coach Liu Yong Gong to prepare the national lot for the Asian Games which are slated to be held in Hangzhou, China, from September 10-25.

“Yes we have roped in Liu Yong Gong through the assistance of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB). We will bring him for June-August period before the Asian Games,” PWF president Malik Iftikhar told ‘The News’ on Saturday.

“He is a fine coach. We had hired his services on 2000 for the first time, just a year after his retirement. He is Taolu coach and has been a former world champion,” Malik said.

“His presence with the squad during the camp will definitely boost our chances in the Asian Games,” Malik said.

The Chinese will get Rs400,000 per month. The federation also plans to send the Asian Games-bound squad either to Iran or China for a month-long training. “Yes, the plan is there. We have already informed the PSB about our plans that we will need a foreign training tour which is very necessary especially when you are to prepare for such a major event,” Malik said.

Pakistan have a solid record in the Asian Games, having won medals in three successive quadrennial continental events. In the 2006 Doha Asian Games, Maratab Ali Shah won bronze, in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games Ijaz Ahmed won silver and in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games Maratab clinched bronze.

In the 2018 Indonesia Asian Games Maaz Khan narrowly missed a medal when he lost to Shi Zhanwei of China in the 70kg quarter-finals.

The PWF plans to hold a camp for the Asian Games preparations from March 1 at Lahore. “Yes, we plan to hold a camp from March 1 keeping in view the situation of the coronavirus. We will plan accordingly and it will be decided later what should be our precautionary measures for the training camp,” Malik said.

He also revealed that trials for picking camp probables will be held at Lahore on January 29.

“Yes, we have announced the trials date and have informed all our units. Army players have reached Lahore. We have also informed the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) about it,” Malik said.

He said that 40 probables will be kept in the camp and the number of players will be cut with the passage of time.

“Initially, we will keep 40 probables — top four in each event. After one month we will slash the number in each event to three and after two months we will bring it to two and just ahead of the event we will pick only one fighter each,” Malik said.

“What we have thought is to send ten fighters and three officials. However it is not final and we will look at various things before taking the final decision,” Malik said.

“We have some fine lot and in Taolu our fighters got three golds, one silver and 12 bronze in the World Championship held virtually,” he said.

About medal chances in the Asian Games, Malik said it depends on the preparation. “In the previous Asian Games too we had a chance but you know we got just a 25-day camp which was not enough,” said Malik, who has established his own training and hostel facilities in Lahore.