KARACHI: None of the five Pakistani wrestlers qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics as all crashed out before reaching their respective categories’ finals at the 2016 World Wrestling Olympic Qualification Tournament in Turkey, which was the minimum ask to secure the Rio berth.
In the 86kg freestyle’s round of 32, Pakistan’s top wrestler Muhammad Inam managed to win his duel with Italy’s Aron Caneva 12-2. However, he lost his pre quarter-final fight against Peru’s Pool Edinson Ambrocio Greifo 2-1.
Muhammad Asad Butt also won his first round fight against China’s Vietnam’s Tat Du Can 4-2 in the 74kg event, but lost to Uruguay’s Dylan Palacio16-6 in the pre quarter-final. Meanwhile, Qamar Abbas lost to Germany’s Kevin Henkel 10-0 in the first round.
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In the 125kg freestyle event, Pakistan’s Zaman Anwar lost to Romania’s Rares Daniel Chintoan 10-0, whereas Muhammad Bilal lost to Uzbekistan’s Abbos Rakhmonov 7-0 in the 57kg category.
The 2010 Commonwealth gold-medallist Inam believes the lack of support from both the government as well as the Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) left them with a mountain to climb which eventually proved too steep.
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“We tried our best, but we don’t even have one per cent of the facilities that wrestlers in other countries have,” Inam told The Express Tribune. “Countries like Iran, US, Russia began their preparations for the Rio Olympics eight years ago.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2016.
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