Asian Wrestling Championship : Pakistan wrestlers underprepared says the PWF secretary lashes out at federal government for inaction

By   - 01/02/2020

Pakistan Wrestling Federation’s (PWF) secretary Arshad Sattar on Friday lashed out at the federal government for not holding a training camp for wrestlers for Asian Wrestling Championships and Olympic qualifiers.

“We have written many times to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) during the last eight months that we need a camp as Asian Championships in India and Olympic qualifiers are ahead but we have got no response,” he told the leading newspaper from Pakistan “The News” in an interview.

“How will our wrestlers be able to fight for Olympics seats when the state is not backing us? There are also no sponsors and this has added to our worries,” he said.

He added that had they would have got a camp soon after the 13th South Asian Games in Nepal last December three or four grapplers had the chance to make it to Tokyo Olympics.

“I ask the Prime Minister Imran Khan why he has treated sports so badly despite being a sportsman himself,” Arshad said.

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“The government has money for Inter-Board Sports Gala but it does not have a penny for the wrestlers who have been pulling off good results in the international circuit,” the official said.

He said Pakistani wrestlers can pull off wonders if supported. “Pakistan is brimming with talent. If the state opts to back wrestling in the true sense, giving us camps constantly for long duration then we have the capacity to produce such wrestlers who would start winning medals even in Olympics in the next eight years,” Arshad said.

Pakistan’s wrestlers are to appear in a couple of Olympic qualifiers. The Asian qualifiers will be held in Xian, China, from March 27-29 and the world qualifiers will be conducted in Sofia, Bulgaria, from April 30 to May 3 apart from the Asian Wrestling Championships in Delhi scheduled for 18th February.

Arshad said that the country’s premier wrestler Mohammad Inam will be fielded in the World Qualifying round in Bulgaria in 97 kilogramme weight category. It is expected that Zaman Anwar, Haroon Abid and Mohammad Bilal will be fielded in the Asian qualifiers in China.

Meanwhile, Pakistan will be fiedling a few wrestlers in the Asian Wrestling Championships slated to be held in New Delhi from February 18-23.

“We are going to send four or five wrestlers in India’s event.” Arshad said. The continental event in India does not serve as Olympic qualifiers. However, as per rules in those weights a federation can field its wrestlers in Olympic qualifiers in which its wrestlers have featured in the continental qualifiers.

Pakistan wrestlers have done well during the last few years. The country’s premier wrestler Mohammad Inam ruled supreme as he won not only a couple of World Beach Wrestling crowns but also the World Beach Games title. He also snared gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The country’s young sensation Inayatullah claimed bronze in Youth Olympics in Argentina in 2018.

Pakistani Wrestlers also did a fine job in the 13th South Asian Games in Nepal last year, snaring three gold and four silver medals but none of them were able to defeat any Indian wrestler in the championships. All the Gold medals came in the category in which Indian wrestlers did not participate.

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