KARACHI: Pakistan lost a star in the making after Mubeen Akhtar, crowned women’s national champion recently, passed away in Lahore yesterday.
As tributes poured in, former national athlete Bushra Parveen said the country has lost one of its most promising sprinters.
Mubeen, who clinched the 100 and 200-metre sprints in the 44th National Championship, switched from Army to Wapda after an unimpressive show with her former team, according to Parveen, and the rest, as they say, is history. Parveen, who mentored the athlete in the national junior training camp for two months before the championship, added that Mubeen was ‘motivated enough’, making her job easier.
“When she came to the camp, her aim was to become national champion because she had things to prove to her critics,” Parveen told The Express Tribune. “She gave it her all in the training camp and pushed her body to the limit in order to get super fit. As a result, she got her wish as she clinched the 100 and 200m titles in the 44th National Championship.
“I remember she forced me to accompany her to the podium because she wanted to share the moment with me.”
‘Her eyes were on records’
Mubeen, the youngest of four siblings, also won a gold medal in the 400-m relay event. The 20-year-old narrowly missed out on becoming the best female athlete as Mubeen and 800-m specialist Rabia Ashiq each won three gold medals but the latter’s new national record in the 5,000m event won her the award.
“She had vowed to break the records of Shabana Akhtar and Nasim Hameed but her life ended just as her career was about to reach its peak. Those who saw her sprint on the track knew that she had the mettle to do big things for Pakistan. Mubeen wanted to reach for the sky and she might have done that.”
Mubeen, an introvert by nature, was also praised by Rabia who she had befriended during the national event.
“We became good friends and I’m just shell-shocked,” said Rabia. “It’s really hard for me to believe that she has passed away because I spoke to her few days before. She didn’t have any stress. A promising athlete has left us and this is a loss for Pakistan.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2012.
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