Pakistan’s representation in 2016 Olympics next to none

Only five athletes expected to make it to Rio, all on wild card entries

Natasha Raheel May 11, 2016
Pakistan’s lowest number of representatives at the Olympics was 21 in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, and that figure mainly consisted of hockey players. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: An all-time low number of participants are expected to represent Pakistan at the Olympics this time, with only five national athletes projected to travel to Rio de Janeiro on the basis of ‘universality places’.

So far, Pakistan has failed to qualify for any event in the Games with the major miss being field hockey. Meanwhile, the most recent failures to qualify for the Games came in boxing, wrestling and weightlifting.

Olympics: Like boxers, wrestlers miss out on Rio as well

Pakistan’s lowest number of representatives at the Olympics was 21 in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, and that figure mainly consisted of hockey players. Two participants in athletics, two swimmers and one shooter made up the remaining contingent.

Given the past record, Pakistan may be sending just five athletes this year, now that the national hockey team has failed to make it to the Olympics for the first time in history.

The probable athletes are depending on the universality places policy, wherein the International Olympic Committee grants wild card entries to the countries that fail to qualify in any event.

“It’s a disaster, primarily because there has never been concrete planning for Olympics by the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and the Pakistan Olympic Association,” Pakistan Weightlifting Federation Vice-President Rashed Malik told The Express Tribune. “Every country in the world starts preparations for Olympics at least eight years before their targeted event. In Pakistan, nothing gets done because of a lack of interest and planning.”

2016 Rio Olympics: PBF a bit late in preparing for qualifiers

Meanwhile, wrestler Muhammad Inam believes it makes the athletes look bad, although they try their best on their own but are beaten due to a lack of support and exposure to the right training and tournaments.

“We don’t do anything like the countries that want to win medals at the Olympics,” said Inam. “Even India sends its wrestlers for Olympic preparations to Georgia, what did our federation or government do?”

While boxing still has a slim chance to make it to the Games as the boxers feature in the last Olympics qualifiers next month, the officials feel it will be too little, too late.

On the other hand, the country’s governing body for sports holds the dearth of communication from the federations’ side responsible for the mess.

“The federations never gave us the plan for the Olympics, nor did they convey any indication of serious preparations,” claimed PSB Director General Akhtar Ganjera. “They can’t blame us for their lack of planning.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th, 2016.

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Muhammad Ebrahim Cheema | 5 years ago | Reply Unfortunately our games have gone to dogs owing to lack of interest of the Govt and the sports officials of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. And this picture has been shown us by the world largest sports event the OLYMPICS. There is no doubt that there is a lot of talent in every game being played in pakistan but inactive, lethargic, lazy and greedy sports authorities have left no stone unturned to destruct pakistani sports and the sportsmen. But " Tomorrow Never Dies ". I have decided to set up a sports based organization in Lahore under such dismal sports conditions which i intend to spread all over Pakistan by the grace of Almighty ALLAH insha allah. And i need people's help.
Amir Khan | 5 years ago | Reply Countries are Winning So many medals and here stupid Indians as usual are chasing Pakistan. We are this and we are that...Your number of athletes may be slightly higher so what? Look at your population and then compete with those who are in the same numbers and then talk...You will be no where near to them. ..Come out of this stupid things that we are this and we are that and Indian has done well and rising bla bla..Be realistic and see the over all performance of your athletes but on the top of that think about that how many athletes from India is participating when India has the second highest population of the world. Is this the fair number of athletes out of over a billion. ...On the other hands, we are crap and are not good at sports any more. We were best in Boxing, Squash, Snooker and won medals specially Squash when there was no match of our players for decades. What happened then? We are finished. ...Both stupid nation have to think that what we are doing and what we should do. How the world is looking at us. What we both do in every forum we are this is and you are that. ..We have become laughing stuff for others. .Grow up
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