KARACHI: Pakistan Olympian Samiullah, known as the flying horse, believes the country’s chances at this year’s Asian Games and Champions Trophy seem bleak.
“I don’t see the greenshirts being able to defend their title at the upcoming Asian Games in South Korea [September] and the Champions Trophy in India [December],” said Samiullah. “For the last 10 years or so, no proper attention has been paid to the national game at the grassroots level.
“Our goalkeeping department requires special attention, and it’s unfortunate to say that the present goalies don’t meet the requirements. Middle defence is also not as combative as it should be; all the other nations are working on these mentioned areas.”
During his era, Samiullah had witnessed the glory days of Pakistan hockey.
“Now seeing the downfall of the sport in the country is extremely saddening and difficult to swallow for people like me as we have witnessed the glory days.
“Pakistan was not only a superpower in Asia, but it enjoyed a lot of international success as well. No one in Asia had a better record than Pakistan as we dominated the Asian Games, winning more gold medals than India; but now, we aren’t even in the top three.”
Pakistan’s golden days have made it the most successful team in the Asian Games to date, boasting an unbeaten record of eight gold medals, with an additional two silver and three bronze medals.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2014.
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