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Sports

AZS
Alam Zeb Safi
December 8, 2017

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Commonwealth Championship: Pak wrestlers expected to win at least two gold medals

Commonwealth Championship: Pak wrestlers expected to win at least two gold medals

KARACHI: A senior official of Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) expects at least two gold medals from the country’s grapplers in the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship which will be held in Johannesburg from December 15-17.
“I am sure we will win at least two gold medals in South Africa,” PWF secretary Arshad Sattar told ‘The News’ from Lahore on Thursday. He was quick to add that every fighter would fight for gold medals. He said it would be interesting to see how many medals would come. “Our coaches have worked very hard,” the official said.
Pakistan are fielding nine wrestlers in the competitions, which will be contested in both freestyle and Greco-Roman style.The team is scheduled to fly out of Lahore for Johannesburg on December 13 via Dubai. Sajawal (79kg) is not going with the squad as his passport could not be made in time.
The squad comprises Mohammad Bilal (57kg), his brother Abdul Wahab (61kg), Mudassir Hussain (65kg), rookie Ghulam Ghaus (70kg), Abdul Rehman (74kg), Umair Ahmed (86kg), seasoned Mohammad Inam (92kg), Tayyab Raza (97kg) and Ahmed Shehzad Butt (125kg).
Ghaus will make his international debut in the senior event. “Ghaus is a promising youngster. He is the national champion. We sent him to Iran recently for a ten-day camp. He was also part of Pakistan’s cadet side in the Asian Cadet Championship held in Chinese Taipei in 2016. I hope he will produce the desired results at the highest level,” Arshad said.
Bilal got silver in the last edition while his brother Wahab claimed bronze.Arshad said that the national champions had been given chance.“This is the cream as I told you that we would pick the national champions in each weight,” the official said.
On December 14, weigh-in for the freestyle competitions will be held. The fights will be conducted on December 15.On December 16, weigh-in for Greco Roman style competitions will be held, to be followed by fights on December 17.
All Pakistani grapplers except the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Mohammad Inam will also feature in Greco-Roman style besides taking part in freestyle competition.Inam, who recently got gold in the World Beach Championship in Turkey, will play in 92kg category in South Africa but Arshad said that he would represent Pakistan in his original weight of 86kg in the Commonwealth Games, pencilled in for April 4-15 in Gold Coast, Australia.
Pakistani wrestlers have in their mind the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games to be held next year.The Asian Games will be hosted by Indonesia in Palembang and Jakarta from August 18 to September 2.
Arshad said that Pakistan direly needs a foreign coach. “We have told the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) that we need a foreign coach. The Board has promised that a few of our wrestlers would be sent to Iran for three months’ training,” the official said.Sohail Rasheed will accompany the side as coach. Another coach Mohammad Riaz’s entry has also been sent and he also can become part of the touring party. Referee Khalid Butt will also proceed with the squad.

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