Sunday, July 21, 2024

19th Asian Games Hangzhou: Pak Players Strive to Show the Passion

Abdul Khaliq, a seasoned Pakistani Wushu player weighing in at 60kg, expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou. He commended the Pakistan Asia Federation for their support, providing essential training equipment and facilities. Khaliq, who has dedicated 15 years to Wushu, aims to clinch medals for Pakistan amidst stiff competition, particularly from China and Iran in the Wushu category. He acknowledged the challenges faced by athletes in Pakistan due to limited access to professional equipment and nutrition planning. Despite these obstacles, Khaliq is determined to represent his country with distinction in the competition.

Reflecting on his prior experiences in China, Khaliq praised the pleasant climate, friendly people, and top-notch competition equipment. He recalled participating in the International Championships in China in 2019, which not only featured intense competition but also allowed athletes to explore captivating tourist destinations. Khaliq emphasized that, as an athlete, giving one’s best is the ultimate goal.

Discussing the unique nature of Wushu in Pakistan, Malik Iftikhar Ahmed, the founder of Pakistani Wushu sports, expressed immense pride. He highlighted that Pakistani Wushu athletes have consistently performed well in international competitions, including the Islamic Games, Asian Games, South Asian Games, and various championships. Ahmed stressed the importance of systematic training guidance for athletes, and he mentioned that Pakistan often sends its athletes to countries like China and Iran for training camps to compete at a high level among South and Central Asian nations.

Ahmed recalled a significant moment when Pakistani Wushu athletes faced the Chinese team for the first time in the previous Asian Games. Despite initially leading by 7 points, Pakistan narrowly lost by just 1 point in the final 13 seconds. This demonstrated the resilience and determination of Pakistani athletes. Looking ahead to this year’s Asian Games, Ahmed shared that the athletes are gearing up with enthusiasm and are eager to compete against their Chinese counterparts.

With over 12,500 athletes from 45 countries participating in 61 different events, the 19th Asian Games have garnered global attention. Pakistan is sending a fully-prepared delegation comprising 262 officials and athletes who will compete in 25 disciplines, including cricket, hockey, swimming, badminton, and Wushu. The Government of Pakistan recognizes the role of sports in promoting national unity and physical fitness and extends its wholehearted support to all the athletes representing the country in the Asian Games.

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