KARACHI: Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) on Saturday finalised five wrestlers for the Commonwealth Games while the decision of one wrestler is still pending.
The grapplers were selected for the quadrennial event during trials, held at Lahore on Saturday.
The PWF conducted trials in six weight categories. Those who were finalised included Mohammad Asad (57kg), Inayatullah (65kg), Sharif Tahir (74kg), Mohammad Inam (86 kg) and Zaman Anwar (125 kg).
However, the federation is yet to finalise a wrestler in the 96kg. Tayyab Raza and young Haider Ali competed for a slot in this weight but the federation said that the final decision was still pending. “The decision is pending because of some points issues. We have forwarded the case to the world body’s referees,” a senior official of the PWF told ‘The News’.
In the 57kg, Asad shocked the experienced Mohammad Bilal in the trials. Bilal, who is the cousin of Mohammad Inam, had claimed bronze in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Asad will make his international debut during the Commonwealth Games slated to be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8.
Inyatullah is a well-known name who also has to his credit the Youth Olympics bronze medal.
In the 74kg, Sharif Tahir, a rookie wrestler, was able to win a slot for the Birmingham event. He will also make his international debut.
The country’s premier grappler Mohammad Inam, as usual, did well in trials and he will defend the 86kg title during the Birmingham event.
Inam has to his credit golds in the 2010 and 2018 Commonwealth Games. He is a gold medal hope for Pakistan. Zaman Anwar is also an experienced wrestler and he too has the potential to win a medal in Birmingham.
As many as six wrestlers and two officials will represent Pakistan’s wrestling in the Birmingham event in which the country will feature overall in 14 sports disciplines.
Besides CWG. three wrestlers including Mohammad Bilal, Mohammad Inam and Inayatullah will feature in the Asian Championship slated to be held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, from April 19-24.
The PWF vice-president Arshad Sattar told ‘The News’ that the wrestlers were likely to leave for Mongolia on April 6 or 7.
National grapplers are currently training at the PSB Coaching Centre in Lahore with the assistance of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).
And Arshad said that training is going well. “The wrestlers have started coming into top shape,” he said.
“Our focus is on six wrestlers and in three months, results will start emerging,” Arshad hoped.
As per rules if any wrestler gets injured then the PWF can replace him with another wrestler until May 15 which is the last date for finalising entry by name.
Arshad was happy that the PSB is looking after the wrestlers quite well. “Now things have started improving. The diet of the wrestlers is also good,” he said.
Meanwhile, the PWF is also interested in hiring a foreign coach ahead of the Commonwealth Games. “Yes, we are interested and we have told the PSB about that,” Arshad said.
Arshad said that effort will also be made to send the final lot abroad for training. “Yes it is in the plans as now there is no such issue of Covid-19 and foreign training is necessary,” the official said.
About Ramadan training he said that the wrestlers would train in the night.
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