KARACHI: Pakistan’s hockey match against Korea for seventh place will be the country’s final representation in the London Olympics after its second athlete, the 800m runner Rabia Ashiq, was knocked out of the event as she finished a disappointing sixth in her heat.
Rabia’s timing, a 2:17:39, was seven seconds slower than her personal best as South African star Caster Semenya moved a step closer to adding the Olympic title as she eased into the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, Rabia said that she was pleased with her show that saw her finish the track 17 seconds slower than the winner of the heat. She dispelled the notion that the Mondo track, which is being used in London, was easy to run on as it required more power and energy compared to the tartan track that they were used to.
“I’m happy with my timing in the race because I only had a week to get used to the track conditions and the girls in my heat were very quick,” Rabia told The Express Tribune.
“I put in everything I could in the first round to keep up with the pace but that extra yard of sprint took a lot of energy out of me. The gap widened a lot during the second lap and that de-motivated me.”
The Lahore-based athlete left for the mega event with an aim to break the national record of 2:08:04, set by her mentor Parveen but was pleased with the experience she gained while in London.
“For me the Olympics were okay because it wasn’t just about the experience. I wanted to break the national record. Now I’ll shift my focus to the SAF Games.”
Saudi woman takes slow lane into history
Meanwhile, middle distance runner Sarah Attar made history, becoming the first female athlete to represent Saudi Arabia in Olympics track and field — but limped home a distant last in
Attar timed 2:44:95 in heat six of round one of the 800m, nearly 44 seconds behind Kenya’s Janeth Busienei (2:01.04). Wearing a white hood, long-sleeved green top and black leggings, the 19-year-old student described appearing in the Olympics as ‘an incredible experience’. (With additional input from afp)
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.