KARACHI: Two Pakistani athletes will be part of the International Association of Athletics Federation’s (IAAF) new ‘B-Scholarships programme’, according to the Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) President Akram Sahi.
The programme duration ranges from three months to two years and Sahi confirmed that the IAAF President Lamine Diack has set goals for wild-card relying nations to be able to achieve qualification for the World Championships and the Olympics.
“The athletes will get training at International High Performance centres where all expenses will be borne by the IAAF,” Sahi told The Express Tribune, before adding that the athletes will also be given a monthly stipend.
“I have time before the end of September to think about who we send. We have good athletes in the form of Liaqat Ali, Imran Niazi and Rabia Ashiq and this programme can help them transform from mere participants to genuine contenders.”
Sahi went to the London Olympics with an aim to interact with top officials, in order to seek assistance for the national athletes and their training programmes.
“I had fruitful meetings with Diack and the Director Development Elio Locatelli and have signed an MoU with the IAAF of introducing athletes at youth level in educational institutions.”
Sahi said that he requested Locatelli to help Pakistan groom coaches as well and the official had assured of sending a qualified coach to Pakistan to conduct a basic coaching course once the dates are agreed.
Pakistan failed to make an impression in the Olympics with Liaqat (100m) unable to qualify for the main event while Rabia finished last in her 800m heat.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2012.
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