The Pakistan Taekwondo Federation Secretary Waseem Ahmed feels that it is time the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) realises that martial arts is the only sport that has the potential to win medals in international events.
“All our disciplines – karate, judo, taekwondo – can win the Pakistan Olympics Association (POA) so many medals but somehow they are only focused on hockey,” Ahmed told The Express Tribune.
“It’s ironic how each of our athletes has managed to get at least a bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games but the PSB continues to spend so much money on hockey, grooming a team that hardly wins any medal now.
“It’s about time they change their priorities. Our federations are sending their players to international events regularly which means that we have a promising future.”
In the last three months, Pakistan’s judo squad has participated in four international events while the taekwondo federation has sent their team abroad twice. The karate squad has taken part in three tournaments and the wushu and ju-jitsu squads took part in the Korean and Chinese events earlier this year. Pakistan’s rankings in these disciplines have also been going up gradually.
Meanwhile, karate has beaten judo, taekwondo, wushu and ju-jitsu when it comes to being the most successful branch of martial arts in Pakistan.
“Our karate athletes are the most successful internationally,” said Pakistan Judo Federation Secretary Masood Ahmed.
“There’s stiff competition right now when it comes to these federations. I can safely say that Pakistan is making its mark in martial arts but my concern is that although karate is achieving more, they are not going to go to Olympics.
“Therefore, I’d urge the PSB to encourage these sports.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2012.