National Games draw mixed responses

Soaring temperatures a stiff test for many athletes.

For many athletes, the absence of Wapda would be beneficial as they would get by without putting their best efforts. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS

KARACHI: The ongoing National Games at the Pakistan Sports Complex in Islamabad have drawn mixed responses from athletes, officials and journalists on the manner of their execution.

For some, good accommodation and better transportation are facilities that they claim are better than they expected while for others, it has been difficult to give good performances in the scorching heat of the summer.

One of the top athletes was of the view that the absence of Wapda was like a signal for the rest of the participants to slacken their efforts in the heat for national records.

“The hot weather has been a problem for us as we’re not able to give our best performance,” an Army athlete told The Express Tribune.

“With Wapda absent from the competition, we are expecting to gain more gold medals than usual because the competition level is not the same. This is one of the reasons not many national records have been broken.”

Some athletes of the Sindh contingent also complained that they had not been provided kits and shoes by their team.

On the other hand, IBSF world amateur champion Mohammad Asif praised the organisers for providing air-conditioned rooms.

“It makes the job of an athlete much easier when we know that we will be able to get proper rest after competitive display in important events,” said Asif. “It’s a pleasant surprise that the accommodation and transportation has been pretty decent.”

Islamabad open account, Army continue dominance

Hosts Islamabad won their first gold medal of the competition courtesy of Ahmed Chaudry, who defeated PAF’s Sanaullah 6-3, 2-6 and 6-2 in the final of the tennis event.

Army, who have dominated the games throughout, were given a tough time by Railways in the Judo event. In the 73kg category, Railways’ Azhar Khan won gold followed by Army’s Imtiaz Ali and Navy’s Naveed.

Army’s Taimoor Ali finished top in 81kg, while Railways’ Mairaj won gold medal in 90kg competition.

In the weightlifting 94kg event, Salman Bashir of Army lifted 265kg to seal first position while the 85kg event was won by Army as well, thanks to Rameez Ali.

Army maintained their lead in the medals table with 77 gold medals.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2013.

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