KARACHI: Pakistan’s top wrestler and 2018 Commonwealth gold medalist Muhammad Inam will be missing the Asian Games next month due to injury.
Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) however believes that the country has a good chance of winning medals despite the set-back.
Inam who suffered an injury at the training camp in earlier this month explained that his right knee had been troubling him following which doctors advised him not to train for another four weeks.
“My right knee is the problem at the moment, I injured it a few years ago as well,” Inam told The Express Tribune. “But I’m training on my upper body and I will be ready for the World Beach Wrestling Championships where I will be defending my title as well.”
Inam has been training in Gujranwala, his home-town, despite requesting a camp abroad for the Asian Games. He also forwarded the request to Pakistan Sports Board Pakistan Olympic Association (POA).
“After I won my Commonwealth Games gold, I have been repeatedly saying that we need international camps, coaches and the right diet; it is crucial. Pakistani wrestlers are doing everything on their own, I received Rs 50 lakh following my win, but how about a proper plan for athletes like myself,” said Inam.
It has always been his dream to win the medals for the country. The 2018 Commonwealth gold medal in 86kg was Inam’s second at the event, earlier he also won the gold in 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Meanwhile, PWF secretary Muhammad Arshad Sattar announced that Pakistan will be fielding Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Muhammad Bilal in 57kg, Muhammad Mudassir in 65 kg, Abdul Rehman in 74kg and another commonwealth games bronze medalist tayyab Raza in 130kg event.
“Inam is injured, but we have other wrestlers who have the talent and they are training rather well. We can get medals,” said Sattar.
Earlier, Pakistan sent a junior team to India for the Asian junior Championship, where Inam’s student Ghulam Ghous won bronze in 70kg battle but lost to a Japanese athlete.
“The fact that our wrestlers are preparing with limited resources, without air conditioning, in grimy facilities and then competing at the Asian level is an achievement itself. We really need to train with better wrestlers abroad to improve. Ghous put up a good fight, but other nations are dedicating more resorces to the sport, the government really needs to focus on this,” added Inam.
The 2016 South Asian Games gold medalist hopes that change of government will bring improvements on PSB level.
“The interim set-up at the PSB has hurt us, but I’m hoping that since Imran Khan understands sports, he will know that athletes require attention. I’m hoping they can improve PSB and its set-up,” said Inam.