KARACHI: National swimming champion Kiran Khan believes lack of training and international exposure resulted in the national swimming team’s poor show at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games, leaving the athlete skeptical of her participation at the Asian Games in September.
“Before the Commonwealth Games, we hadn’t participated in international events for a long while, resulting in our failure to put up a competitive show against others,” Kiran told The Express Tribune.
“If Pakistan wants its athletes to perform at the Asian Games, they need to invest in them in order to form a crop good enough for the international circuit.” Kiran, who recently won 11 gold and three silver medals at the 13th National Women’s [Open] Swimming Championship, says she will not be investing in her training any further.
“The Asian Games are almost here and I still don’t know whether I am participating or not; and if I am, then the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) is responsible for my training programme. I have been spending on my training from my own pocket, but now I won’t as it goes to waste.”
According to the Pakistani swimmer, their neighbouring countries were performing well due to the serious nature with which their respective boards took sports. “A last-minute decision always affects the athlete’s performance,” she concluded.
Swan breaks national records
UAE-based Pakistani swimmer Lianna Swan, despite a poor show at the Games, still managed to break two national records and one personal best over five events in Glasgow.
The 17-year-old Bahraini-born Hamilton Aquatics and Jumairah College student reset her previous 37.11 national record in the 50m breaststroke to 35.72.
She then followed it up with a personal best in the 50m freestyle, clocking 29.10 to finish sixth out of eight swimmers in heat and 45th out of 57 overall.
In the 100m freestyle, she reset her own national record to 1:03.32, improving it by 20 seconds.
Lianna and her coach Chris Tidey were not available to comment.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2014.
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