Pakistani athletes have no chance of doing wonders at the Olympics, according to Olympian and former 200m sprinter Maqsood Ahmed who added that a good show in London can, however, boost their chances of bagging a gold in the upcoming SAF Games.
Pakistan will be represented by Liaquat Ali (100m) and Rabiya Ashiq (800m) in London and Maqsood, who is Liaquat’s coach, said that the sprinter put in a lot of effort during training without being overwhelmed by the occasion.
“For starters, we all need to be realistic and it would be foolish to expect wonders from our athletes in the Olympics,” Maqsood told The Express Tribune. “Liaquat had held onto his nerves because the Olympics is the biggest stage of them all. I wanted to accompany him to London to support him but couldn’t do so because of domestic issues.”
Maqsood added that Liaquat should take pride in the fact that he will be taking part in the Olympics while his to-be rivals in the SAF Games from India and Sri Lanka are not even the part of the mega event. That, according to the coach, will be a big boost for him in the long run as he stands to gain experience from his world-class opponents.
“In order to give his best, Liaquat should remain focused on the task at hand. The atmosphere in an Olympic stadium can leave an athlete overwhelmed which is why I held counselling sessions with him which helped overcome the pressure. He’s from a humble background so he needed help with that.”
Meanwhile, Maqsood stressed that if Liaquat goes onto break the national record of 10.40 seconds in London, that will be no less than a gold for him.
Aussie team chief slams sprinter’s quit call
Australia team chief Nick Green has dismissed a quit threat from sprinter Josh Ross over selection policy and told him to get on with competing at the London Olympics.
Ross, 31, a member of Australia’s 4x100m relay team, warned the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) he would abandon the Games if he did not receive an explanation as to why his federation had not nominated him for the 100m individual event.
Chef de Mission Green was unimpressed with the runner’s quoted comments and urged Ross to knuckle down and concentrate on competing for his country.
“It’s up to (Athletics Australia) to handle the selection of the team,” he said. “Their selection policy has been in play for many years before the Olympic Games start and every athlete knows everything about it.” (with additional input from afp)
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2012.