KARACHI: Pakistan will not be represented in the boxing ring at the London Olympics after the country’s last remaining hope – Mohammad Waseem – crashed out of the Asian qualifiers with a 22-9 defeat at the hands of Mongolia’s Tugstsogt Nyambayar.
Waseem needed to beat his Mongolian opponent to guarantee himself a ticket to London but was unable to overcome Nyambayar in the 52-kilogramme category.
Earlier, Mohammad Nisar lost 25-5 to Kazakhstan’s Birzhan Zhakipov in the 49-kg fight and Waseem’s ouster sealed a disastrous campaign for Pakistan boxing where they lost five out of the six fights they took part in.
PBF secretary plays blame-game
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) Secretary Akram Khan blamed lack of support from the government for the debacle.
“We did our best, utilising all possible resources we had but didn’t get any sort of interest shown by the government,” Akram told The Express Tribune. “Everything was planned in haste at the last minute which created problems. Our grant was released two days before our departure so we couldn’t even go to Kazakhstan nice and early for extra training.
“Waseem was our main hope and despite his loss he continues to be our best boxer.”
PBF president blasts change of coach, PM
PBF President Doda Khan, though, came down hard on his own federation and suggested that the change of coach late in the day disturbed the boxers’ momentum. Coach Ali Bakhsh was working with the PBF but was replaced by Akram Brohi as head coach in January.
“It was a technical issue so I remained quiet and allowed Akram to go ahead but I think that proved adverse for our Olympics chances,” said Doda.
“We wanted to hire a foreign coach but the Pakistan Sports Board didn’t have funds and not even Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani helped us. I had to arrange finances on my own, even for the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto International Boxing Tournament.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2012.