Pakistan’s female shooters eye medals in Asian Games

Minhal, Nadira believe they can compete with the best from other countries


Nabil Tahir August 03, 2018
MUCH-NEEDED PREP: The National Rifle Association of Pakistan (NRAP), after announcing the 10 athletes for the Asian Games, said that the national event will help the players prepare better for the Games. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: Pakistan’s top-ranked female shooter Minhal Sohail is eyeing medals at the upcoming Asian Games as the squad prepares for the big event with the second edition of the Pervez Abbasi Open Shooting Championship to be held from August 7 to 12 at the Pakistan Navy shooting range in PNS Karsaz.

The National Rifle Association of Pakistan (NRAP), after announcing the 10 athletes for the Asian Games, said that the national event will help the players prepare better for the Games.

The 23-year-old Minhal, who is one of the two female shooters traveling to Indonesia for the Games, said that she and Nadira Raees will be looking for medals at the Games.

In the 2014 Asian Games, Minhal and Nadira finished at 22nd and 53rd rank respectively at the qualification round of 10m air rifle event, while Nadira in qualification round of 50m air rifle 3-position event finished at 38th rank.

“We don’t have much resources and equipment but still we will give tough time to our opponents,” Minhal told The Express Tribune.

“We have been training for a long time and will be practicing till the day we leave for the Games. This tournament, which involves many players from different departments, will help us in polishing our learned skills and improve the weak areas,” she said.

The second event of the championship is considered to be the most awaited event among all departments as it involves different types of guns and is open for public too, while the teams from defending champions Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force, Police, Rangers and other law enforcement agencies will also take part.

The last edition of the championship was held over three days but now two more days have been added with more events, taking the number of participating shooters above 400. The event also boasts one of the highest prize money, offering Rs5 million to the winners, informed Tournament Director Ghazanfar Abbas.

Technical delegate Razi Ahmed, who is also the secretary of NRAP, said International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) rules would be applied at the championship. “We also want to prepare our athletes for Asian Games through this championship, that’s why all the international rules will be followed,” he said.

He added that the shooting event is one of the toughest at Asian Games and NRAP has prepared the best athletes for it. “In the next two years, Pakistan’s shooters would participate in international events to earn quota places for Tokyo 2020. The shooters outnumbered Pakistan’s other athletes at the last Olympics,” he said.

The 10 players for Asian Games are G M Bashir and Khalil in Rapid Fire Pistol category. Usman Chand and Abdul Sattar Satti in Skeet-125 category. Farrukh Nadeem in Trap category and Amir Iqbal in Double Trap category. Minhal in Air Rifle category and Nadira in Rifle 3-positions. Meanwhile, Zeeshanul Farid and Ghufran Adil will participate in the Air Rifle and Rifle 3-positions categories.

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