Special Olympics Summer Games 2011: Pakistan come back bearing 56 medals

Published: July 5, 2011

Pakistan had been preparing their athletes for the last two years, while the camp for the Games began four months prior to the event, with all the hard work paying off. PHOTO: SAIMA MOHSIN

KARACHI: 

The Pakistan squad comes bearing 56 medals as they return to the country today after a successful run at the recently-concluded Special Olympics Summer Games 2011 in Athens, Greece.

Pakistan bagged 17 gold medals, 25 silver and 14 bronze medals while competing in a week-long event that featured 7,500 athletes from 180 countries around the world.

The 82-member contingent participated in eight sports including athletics, aquatics, badminton, basketball, bocce, cycling, football and table tennis.

According to the delegation head Ronak Lakhani, while it was important that the country managed to secure 56 medals, however, the Special Olympics of Pakistan’s aim was to encourage all athletes and ensure that every member of the squad was treated like a winner.

During the competitive week at the Games, some athletes made a bigger mark than others. Adeel Ameer, an 18-year-old came out victorious in the 100-metre run, high-jump and 4×100 metre events to become the most successful athlete in the squad, grabbing the top positions in the three events that he participated in.

Meanwhile, 11-year old Bakhtawar Gul secured two gold medals in the 100-metre run and long jump-events and a silver medal in the 4×100-metre relay race.

The Games, however, were not free of setbacks. Rahimullah Baig had to face a disqualification in the 800-metre run, but the 17-year-old spirited athlete never gave up hope and managed to win a silver medal in the 1500-metre run and bagged a gold medal in the 4×100-metre relay race with Ameer, Tahir Siddique and Sakhawat Ali, who also won silver medals in shot-put and the 200-metre individual race.

“Athletics team won the most medals for Pakistan,” coach Javad Arshad told The Express Tribune. “All my athletes have improved because of the strong domestic structure that we have in place to train them.

“We had been preparing these athletes for the last two years in their cities, while we began the camp for the Olympic Games four months prior to the event. It has paid off well.”

Meanwhile, Husnain Abbas Zaidi won a silver medal in the 25-metre backstroke and 25-metre freestyle events, whereas Ahsan Ali won Bronze medal in 25-metre freestyle.

Cyclist Sana Javed bagged a gold medal in the five-kilometre race and silver in 1000-metre event. Billawal Aslam secured one gold and two bronze medals despite a prior shoulder injury.

In the team sports, Pakistan men and women basketball teams won silver medals, while Suhail Khan and Rabia Saeed won badminton singles titles. Similarly, Mehwish Iftikhar and Arsalan Ahmed won table tennis singles events in their respective categories.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2011.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly cited Amir Munawar as winning silver medals in the swimming events.

Related Videos

Reader Comments (39)

  • Talha
    Jul 5, 2011 - 1:21AM

    Great news, well done.Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2011 - 1:50AM

    Proud of each n every one of you who have represented Pakistan in Athens :)

    You are our real Stars and you deserve appreciation for all the hardwork you have put in :) … Hopefully it can be reciprocated in the same way as Other Athletes n sportsmen get for their performances .Recommend

  • Pakistan One
    Jul 5, 2011 - 9:18AM

    This is by far much much better than our regular team. I think we should send me next time to Summer Olympics. Dont you think so?Recommend

  • Pakistan One
    Jul 5, 2011 - 9:25AM

    We should be giving them state welcomeRecommend

  • Word Life
    Jul 5, 2011 - 9:30AM

    What wonderful performances by these terrific athletes. They have brought unprecedented laurels to the country.

    We are all proud of each and every one of you !Recommend

  • amna feroze
    Jul 5, 2011 - 10:20AM

    highly impressive…Recommend

  • Gulshad
    Jul 5, 2011 - 11:12AM

    You guys made us proud. May God bless u.Recommend

  • Naveed Javed
    Jul 5, 2011 - 11:32AM

    Alhamdulilah! We are a proud nation; God bless ya all! Recommend

  • An Artist
    Jul 5, 2011 - 11:44AM

    Amazing achievement. They need to be celebrated and promoted as heros.Recommend

  • Moderate
    Jul 5, 2011 - 1:18PM

    Well done, you people made us proud!Recommend

  • Paras Vikmani
    Jul 5, 2011 - 1:19PM

    India won 34 gold medals.
    Rejoice for both countries.Recommend

  • Bilal Saeed
    Jul 5, 2011 - 4:27PM

    congratulations!!!Recommend

  • Sundeep Kumar
    Jul 5, 2011 - 4:30PM

    Gr8!! wel done……. Recommend

  • Ismail
    Jul 5, 2011 - 5:18PM

    It shows how much talent there is in Pakistan. We just need to change the system. We are proud of the athletes and the management of Special Olympics Pakistan for grooming the talent.
    Go Pakistaaaaaaaan.Recommend

  • Hasan
    Jul 5, 2011 - 5:27PM

    Long live Special people you made us feel proud today!!!Recommend

  • Tamoor
    Jul 5, 2011 - 9:28PM

    Well done to all of Pakistani players. m proud of u …Good job & keep it upRecommend

  • Saad Durrani
    Jul 6, 2011 - 12:40AM

    For a country known for its other things, these guys are the true heroes. I almost cried when I saw this. Salute!Recommend

  • safder
    Jul 6, 2011 - 2:00AM

    Extremely proud of the Pakistan squad.. wonderful work in the summer games!

    p.s. the medal count in the article doesnt match up with the count given in this video from your own website, by the way. Please fix it.

    http://tribune.com.pk/multimedia/videos/202901/Recommend

  • Jul 6, 2011 - 3:09AM

    WAO!!
    MASHALLAH .. I’m proud of u my dear Syed Ahsan Ali ..
    Superb! of all Pakistani playerz .
    Good Going :)
    God bless you allRecommend

  • Ali
    Jul 6, 2011 - 4:44AM

    Well done Pakistan!Recommend

  • irfan bubbu
    Jul 6, 2011 - 8:41AM

    geo pakistanio . i love youRecommend

  • Amir
    Jul 6, 2011 - 1:04PM

    They did what Normals cant willing to do it.
    Its only hard work which lead to success.
    They have surely less resources and incentives due to Special as we think its useless to spend on them.
    Well done guls and guys.Recommend

  • Naheed Ali
    Jul 6, 2011 - 3:42PM

    i’m proud to be a Pakistani – these are our real heroes!Recommend

  • Waqas Rasool
    Jul 6, 2011 - 5:32PM

    Proud of all of you!Recommend

  • Be Prapare...
    Jul 6, 2011 - 6:01PM

    truly special they are !!Recommend

  • Farooq Malik
    Jul 7, 2011 - 2:39PM

    Top job. You have all made us proud. I hope you get all the support and assistance to continue excelling. Inshallah.Recommend

  • Jul 7, 2011 - 10:42PM

    great work natasha keep it up did u also go Recommend

  • Radial
    Jul 8, 2011 - 11:42AM

    the special olympics squad should replace our regular olympics squad. they’re barely able to win 1 bronze medal every 4 years.Recommend

  • Jul 9, 2011 - 3:31PM

    true

    Recommend

  • Jul 9, 2011 - 3:36PM

    @Pakistan One:
    true and they should send us both right :) well done

    Recommend

  • Jul 9, 2011 - 3:50PM

    @Amir:
    well done am proud of u guys east or west where ever i am special olympics is the best .. pakistan zindapad

    Recommend

  • Mazhar Ali Diamond
    Jul 9, 2011 - 7:40PM

    Thanks special children, we all proud of you. plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    jin childrens ne gold silver and bronez medaal jeetay hain un sab ke pictures net pe dein. thanks

    Recommend

  • Mazhar Ali Diamond
    Jul 9, 2011 - 7:42PM

    me and me wife almas Love special children

    Recommend

  • Zain
    Jul 13, 2011 - 1:22PM

    This is really great, It would be even better if in the other Olympics, Pakistan did just as well or better, it is time to review what they are doing and improve them, by setting similar standards of excellence so they can get similar score in next Olympics

    Recommend

  • wajiha
    Jul 13, 2011 - 7:01PM

    we are really proud of you.

    Recommend

  • Zeeshan
    Jul 19, 2011 - 4:31PM

    God Bless Pakistan n its People… Ameen!

    Recommend

  • Anwar
    Aug 9, 2011 - 8:58PM

    What are SPECIAL OLYMPICS?

    Recommend

  • Asiya
    Aug 15, 2011 - 10:51AM

    What a great news. Keep it up.

    Recommend

More in Sports