Pakistan has managed to secure a decent 18th position in the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games 2022 after bagging a total of eight medals, including two precious golds. Unfortunately, we are still long way from the top of the table where the Kiwis sit comfortably with 178 medals to their name, including 67 golds. Our sporting rivals, India, managed to fare much better by securing fourth place with 61 medals and 22 golds — all credit goes to them and their developments in their sports industry.
For Pakistan, however, the stars of the show were javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem with his record-breaking throw of 90.18 meters — creating history by becoming the first ever South Asian to cross the 90-meter barrier — and weightlifter Nooh Dastagir Butt who managed to lift a record 405kg to win the gold. The people of Pakistan are extremely proud of all the Commonwealth champions and it was pleasing to see Pakistan’s flag be hoisted high on multiple occasions. These star athletes and competitors have yet again indicated that our country is not short on talent, skill and perseverance. But, like previous years, their woes remain the same. Many have had to overcome odds just to participate; many are raw talent without proper training or resources; and many have had to travel through personal expenses.
Sports federations and government institutions in Pakistan have failed to support, manage and sustain these world-class athletes who have been constantly performing at the top-most level for the country. They must be taught, trained and transformed into professional athletes. But mismanagement prevails as the Pakistan Boxing Federation recently reported the disappearance of two national Boxers from Birmingham a few days after the conclusion of the games. An investigation may be underway but it doesn’t take much to ascertain the possibilities of why this came about. Whatever the case, officials must have been more vigilant considering that many athletes haven’t ever had international exposure before.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2022.
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