KARACHI: Pakistan’s Syed Mohammad Asif bagged a silver medal in the 52kg flyweight event at the fourth Taipei City International Boxing Tournament on Sunday.
The Quetta-based youngster lost his final bout to Japan’s Nikito Nakano 2-1 at the Taipei Gymnasium.
“Losing hurts,” Asif told The Express Tribune after the match. “A silver medal is fine, but I wanted our national anthem to play at the end. I will work harder now. I’m happy with my debut though.”
According to Pakistan Boxing federation (PBF) official Ali Akber Shah Qadri, the pugilist fought his heart out in the final bout but lost due to lack of international exposure and experience.
Earlier, Asif had stunned Mongolia’s Enkthtur Enkhnasan 3-0 and Singapore’s Mohammad Haaurdeen 3-0 to reach the final.
Meanwhile, the PBF is satisfied with the performance as Jahanzaib Khan and Asif managed to finish the tournament among the top eight boxers in their categories.
“It’s a good performance, in fact an encouraging one,” said Qadri. “Jahanzaib made it to the 49-kg quarter-final, and Asif went ahead to the finals. This was their first elite tournament and we can’t be happier with the results.”
The tournament was
featuring 15 other countries in the competition including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Italy, Russia, Hong Kong, and Macau.
Qadri admitted that it was a tough completion for the new pugilists.
“Boxing competitions are getting tougher to win. This event came to us at a time when our boxers really needed some exposure.
“This tournament was featuring former champions as well, and we can’t forget that countries like Japan and China are producing some amazing boxers. It’s not easy to beat them, because they are getting a lot more support and facilities as compared to our boxers.”
The team will return home on August 13, whereas the next assignment for the boxers will be the Asian Games next month.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2014.
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