KARACHI: The Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) President Akram Sahi has asked for assistance from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), urging the sport’s governing body to help the country flourish at the international stage.
Sahi met the IAAF President Lamine Diack in London, adding that the guidance from the body will go a long way in helping Pakistan athletes who have put on a disappointing show at the Olympics. Liaqat Ali and Rabia Ashiq failed to progress from their first test in the 100m sprint and 800m event respectively.
“I’ve told him that we want to send our sprinters to Jamaica, long-runners to Kenya and hurdlers to China to allow them to train in world class facilities,” said Sahi told The Express Tribune. “He was very forthcoming and directed the world body’s training officials to meet for extensive deliberations.”
He added that Diack has also asked him to promote athletics on a grass-root level in Pakistan, while also assuring assistance at the international stage.
“I’m also trying to meet officials of Jamaica and Kenya because all athletes from all over the world want to train with them while there are other countries in my mind as well.”
Sahi, who also went to London on a personal visit with an aim to see national athletes participate in the Games, met officials from other countries to share the vision of improving athletics in Pakistan. He said that a meeting with IAAF officials will be followed by officials from other countries also talking at length about the topic before he returns to Pakistan on August 13.
Meanwhile, when asked about the performance of Pakistani athletes Liaqat and Rabia, he said that he was disappointed by both.
“Both kids have disappointed me because I was expecting better performances. They failed to raise their game at the big stage.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.
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