KARACHI: Pakistan’s 100m sprinter Liaqat Ali is missing his coach Maqsood Ahmed ahead of his Olympics heat that takes place on Saturday.
Bushra Parveen, who is the coach of 800m runner Rabia Ashiq, was sent to the Games instead of Ahmed and Liaqat, without his coach, is getting nervous ahead of his maiden Olympics appearance.
“I’m seriously missing Ahmed because whenever he’s around, he takes away half of my tensions and takes me into that comfort zone to do well in my events,” Liaqat told The Express Tribune. He added that the coach was the one who looked after the athlete’s training and diet routine leading up to every event and although Liaqat is in touch with him, Ahmed’s presence in London would have ‘eased the nerves’.
“He’s still giving me advice from Pakistan but in the back of my mind, his absence is constantly affecting me because he knows what’s better for me than even myself.”
Liaqat, carrying a bit of stiffness in his legs, is undergoing light training on the Mondo tracks while also watching the world’s best from the sidelines and noticing the gulf that exists between them and the Pakistani athletes.
“The likes of Yohan Blake, Justin Gatlin and others have different techniques and training methods compared to us. I’ve been noticing these things so when I get back, I could try and apply the same to see if that improves my timing.”
Meanwhile, cherishing his presence at the Olympics, Liaqat is treating his running kit like a gold medal – holding it close to his heart.
“The Olympics kit I’ve received is very special for me. It’s nothing less than a gold medal.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2012.