Khurram Inam failed to grab a medal but a perfect end to his Olympics campaign in the skeet competition – where he shot a perfect 25 – confirmed that a medal is not beyond the country’s reach.
Hussain Shah’s boxing bronze in Seoul 1988 was the last individual medal for Pakistan but Inam said that individual medals are not a far cry anymore, adding that national athletes have the potential to land that honour.
“It’s not that we’re not talented, we just lack consistency because of inadequate preparation and facilities,” Inam told The Express Tribune. The shooter, who became the first Pakistani to represent the country in three Olympics, said that the athletes needed international exposure and proper coaching.
“That’s all we need. The best shooters have a panel of coaches. They take part in all major international competitions. We are deprived of both and are surviving in the sport at our own expense. If we can manage accuracy in one round, by proper coaching and international exposure, we can bring consistency to finish in the top.
“There is a good chance of better results in the next Olympics, at least in shooting. All we need is assistance from the authorities.”
Inam added that India had invested heavily and now their shooters were paying them back with medals.
“They are winning shooting medals and so can we if we get the support.”
The 45-year old kept his options open for Rio 2016.
“There is a long way to but age is not a barrier in shooting. I will keep up with the sport. If I’m eligible and available, I’d love to participate and do well.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2012.