24 Pakistani Olympians to watch at Rio 2016

Published: August 2, 2016
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

Sorry to break it to you, but we don’t even have 24 athletes going to the Rio Olympics 2016.

A nation that once prided itself on producing the world’s best hockey talent hasn’t even qualified in the sport for the first time since its maiden appearance in 1948 London Games.

The country’s sporting decline speaks volumes about the nation’s steep decline when it comes to athletics, and even more about the lack of government interest in promoting and nurturing the country’s sporting talent.

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Pakistan is sending the smallest-ever national Olympics contingent to Rio de Janeiro this summer. Talking to APP, a Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) official said that a 24-member contingent will represent the country in Rio Olympics, which are scheduled to begin on August 5 and conclude on August 21. “The 24-member Pakistan contingent will include seven athletes and 17 officials,” he said.

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To make matters worse, for the first time in history, Pakistan’s hockey team will not feature in the mega event as they failed to qualify for the event.

The athletes to chip in the Olympics include swimmers Lianna Swan and Haris Bandey, who are both based abroad, as well as judoka Shah Hussain Shah, shooters Ghulam Mustafa and Minhal Sohail, and sprinters Mehboob Ali and Najma Parveen. They mainly qualified for the tournament through either wildcard or continental quota system.

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In Olympics, wildcards are offered to countries whose athletes fail to meet the qualification standards.

No officials of Pakistan Sports Board and POA were available for comment on the matter.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • SuperNeo
    Aug 3, 2016 - 7:21AM

    24 Pakistani Olympians to watch at Rio 2016 !!!!!
    How many mange to disappear in brazil…big challenge for these 24’s.Recommend

  • Syed Bilal Ali
    Aug 5, 2016 - 7:25AM

    It is sad that our print and electronic media sits idol on this situation, when only 24 officials are sent to Rio Olympics. No one see corruption here, what is the need of sending 17 officials to take care of 7 athletes who are accepted in wildcard category. Aren’t these 17 officials going to Rio on free ride? To be exact to enjoy. I think who ever is responsible to send these 17 officials for Rio Olympics, should be charged. What chairman for Pakistan Olympics Association is doing? Gen. Syed Arif Hassan, head of Pakistan Olympics association has been around for 10 years in this prestigious institution. Usurping all the resources and doing nothing. His management and organizational skills are worth seeing that not a single athlete is based in Pakistan. What a shame for nation? Gen. sahab was in Musharraf era was handling both Pakistan Sports Board and Pakistan Olympics Association, but then he was removed from Pakistan Sports Board. Sending only 17 officials and 7 non-Pakistani based athletes is his biggest failure. It shows of his interest in sports as a whole. It just my childhood dream that I see Pakistan’s biggest contingent in Olympics. It seems that this dream has gone sour. However, we need to make swift policy to remove corrupt people from Olympics and Sports institution because they show soft image of country. Recommend

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