After the Indian Olympic Committee confirmed that the South Asian Games will take place in New Delhi in September, the Pakistan Karate Federation (PKF) has decided to reschedule the team’s training programme and the team will now travel to Iran for a two-week training camp.
The security situation in Pakistan has also kept the coach away, forcing the federation to send the players instead. According to the PKF Secretary Shamim Hashmi, the Iran-bound squad will be selected after the men’s national championship that begins in Peshawar next week and the shortlisted players will be sent to Iran for training.
“We have had an Iranian coach with us for the last five years,” Hashmi told The Express Tribune. “He’s won us two South Asian titles so we’re sticking with him. He can’t travel to Pakistan due to the security situation. He’s extremely influential in the Iranian karate circuit and he’s also helped us in scheduling competitions with the Iranian national team.”
Talking about the coaching facilities, Hashmi said that the idea is to give maximum exposure and best possible training to at least 20 players.
“Iran is a cheaper deal, we can’t take the players to south east Asian countries, but Iran is closer so the lodging and accommodation is not an issue plus the Iranian national team is among the top five Asian countries so it’s a win-win situation for us.”
Hashmi added that the players will need to impress in the national championship and the federation will keep an open mind about including new and inexperienced players.
“It’s a fair game: win the national championship and participate in the South Asian Games. We will be announcing our squad for the Games when we finalise the participants for Iranian tour.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2012.
More in SportsPakistan boxing on the canvas