ISLAMABAD, Sep 16 (APP):The Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) could only afford to send one athlete to feature in the 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships, which would also serve as a qualifying round for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
President AFP Maj. Gen. (R) Muhammad Akram Sahi said the World Athletics Championships was scheduled to be held in Doha, Qatar from September 27 to October 7.
“According to the available resources, AFP could only send Asian Games bronze medalist javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem to feature in the extravaganza,” he told APP.
Arshad won the bronze medal in javelin throw with an 80.75 metres mark at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The last time Pakistan won a medal in an Asian games athletics event was in 1994 when Aaqarab Abbas took a bronze in the hammer throw event and since then the country has been unable to produce any talent in athletics.
The AFP chief said Arshad had good chances of excelling in the World Athletics Championships therefore we could only send our best in the mega event.
“We wanted to pitch more athletes in the World Athletics Championships, but we have not yet received grant from the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), therefore the federation could only bear expenses of one athlete,” he said.
Sahi said Arshad would depart to Qatar on September 24 and his competition in the championships would be held on October 4 or 5. “We would be sending Arshad in the championships, a week before, so that he could prepare for his competition in Qatar,” he said.
To a question, he said the federation would hire the services of a Chinese coach, to prepare athletes for the South Asian Games scheduled to be held in Nepal, from December 1 to 10.
“We have been in talks with our Chinese counterpart and as soon as we find the best coach available, we would finalize him for the team,” he said.