KARACHI: Rukhsana Parveen and Sofia Jawed became the first Pakistani women to bag international medals in boxing at the 2016 South Asian Games in Shillong on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Rukhsana, who is a part of Pakistan’s first ever boxing team sent to an international event, lost her semi-final fight 10-9 to a Sri Lankan pugilist in the 60kg competition, but the Multan-based sportswoman believes she gave her all in the event.
“Even though it is a bronze medal, it means a lot because we made it this far,” Rukhsana told The Express Tribune. “I lost my bout by just a point after a very close affair, so I still feel like a winner because I know I did my best.”
Like Rukhsana, her teammate Sofia also claimed bronze after losing 10-9 to India’s Pooja Rani in the 75kg semi-final. And while the two medallists would likely garner all the acclaim back home, Rukhsana feels everyone on the team deserves attention.
Meanwhile, their male counterparts — Mohibullah Khan, Tanveer Ahmed, Ali Ahmed and Syed Asif — all reached the finals, confirming at least four silver medals for Pakistan in men’s event.
Mohibullah outclassed Afghanistan’s Ferhed Sharifi 3-0 in the 49kg event, while national champion Tanveer crushed Bhutan’s Tashi Norbu 3-0 in the 75kg semi-final.
Ahmed, on the other hand overcame Sri Lanka’s Sanjeeva Gayan 2-1 in the 60kg event, whereas Asif booked his place in the 52kg final with a win over Isan Sankeewa Bandra.
Elsewhere, Pakistan’s women’s handball team lost 44-23 in the semi-final to India — they will now contest the third-place match on Monday. The Kabaddi team, meanwhile, fared better, cruising into the final with a 22-11 win over Sri Lanka.
The star of the day, however, undoubtedly was Asim Ijaz, who won a gold medal in the 87kg taekwondo event by defeating his Indian rival.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2016.