Winning silver on debut is difficult: Akram Khan

PBF secretary praises pugilist Asif’s performance in Taipei.

Natasha Raheel August 11, 2014


Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) Secretary Akram Khan believes winning a silver medal in a tournament debut is not an easy task, hence praising Syed Mohammad Asif for his achievement at the Fourth Taipei City Tournament.

The PBF had fielded two boxers in the tournament; Asif for the 52kg event and Jahanzaib in the 49kg category. Asif bagged the silver medal on Sunday and lost to a Japanese boxer in the final, whereas Jahanzaib made an exit after reaching the quarters in his respective category.

According to Akram, the Taipei tournament was bigger than even the Commonwealth Games.

“The Taipei event was more important than the Commonwealth Games for sure,” Akram told The Express Tribune.

“Mohammad Waseem [runner-up in Glasgow] is a good boxer but the Games don’t feature countries that are known for their real boxing talent. On the other hand, the Taipei event included those who had previously competed at the Olympics.

“In Jahanzaib’s category, the boxer who went on to win the gold was the runner-up at the 2012 London Olympics. This was another level of competition altogether.”

Following Waseem, Asif became the second boxer this month to win a silver in the international boxing arena.

“Asif won this silver medal after a lot of hard work against very tough competitors,” added Akram.

“But Waseem had gotten lucky at the Commonwealth Games competing against boxers from Malaysia, Ghana or Scotland. These countries are not known for the boxing talent.”

The Taipei tournament featured 16 countries including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Italy, Russia, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Meanwhile, the official stated that the PBF will try to send its best boxers to the Asian Games, with recent performances having proven that the local talent can win gold medals too.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2014.

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