19th Asian Games Hangzhou: Pak players strive to show the passion
By Wu Siya
HANGZHOU, Sept 21 (Gwadar Pro)- “Hi Hangzhou! I already have an itch to try my best! All preparations for the Asian Games are in order. Pakistan Asia Federation has done a lot for us, providing training equipment and facilities. Hopefully we can help our country win medals in Hangzhou,” highlighted Abdul Khaliq, a Pakistani Wushu player in an exclusive interview with Gwadar Pro.
Khaliq in the Wushu training [Photo/Gwadar Pro]
According to Khaliq, he is a 60kg competitor, as well as a seasoned veteran. “I started training Wushu in 2008, and it has been 15 years now. So far, I have done pretty well. The competition in this event in Pakistan is also very fierce. In 2023 Asian Games, we hope to strive for medals. In addition to our brother China, Iran also has many masters in this field. There is no doubt that our game will be very exciting. Let's wait and see.”
“For us, not everyone has the opportunity to own the most professional equipment. Besides, reasonable diet and nutrition planning also requires professional nutritionists. In my country, not every athlete has all these opportunities. Although my training conditions are not the top-ranking, I am very lucky to have everything I have now. Here and now, fight for my country is all I eager to do,” the veteran emphasized, looking forward to the upcoming competition.
The reporter also listened to the athlete talk about his story in China. “This is of course not my first time competing in China, where climate is pleasant, the people are friendly, and the equipment they provide for racing is undoubtedly top-notch. In 2019, we went to China to participate in the International Championships. Back then, we not only enjoyed fierce competition but also had the opportunity to visit stunning tourist attractions. Thus, I didn't have any worries about the 2023 game, worry just became a burden. As an athlete, doing your best is enough.”
Talking about Wushu itself, as we all know, it is not a traditional sports event in Pakistan. “Our Wushu competition consists of four to five events such as boxing, karate, gymnastics, wrestling, etc.," Malik Iftikhar Ahmed, founder of Pakistani Wushu sports, told Gwadar Pro, with heartfelt pride. “In two decades from 2003 to 2023, except for 2018, we have never returned empty-handed from an international competition, including Islamic Games, Asian Games, South Asian Games or any level championship, Pakistani Wushu athletes can impress people.”
Malik Iftikhar Ahmed, Founder of Pakistani Wushu sports [Photo/Gwadar Pro]
“As a coach, the most indispensable thing is to provide systematic training guidance to athletes. If not, any athletes will not be able to achieve good results. In the field of Wushu, China and Iran are the first and second most powerful countries, so we also often go to these two countries for training camps and strive to be at the forefront among South and Central Asian countries,” the 65-year-old founder and coach added. “In the last Asian Games, we played against the Chinese team for the first time. Our members initially led by 7 points, but unfortunately, they could not maintain absolute advantage in the last 13 seconds and ultimately lost the game by 1 point. From this you can imagine that our athletes never bow to any strong player. In this year's game, they are also gearing up with zeal, looking forward to competing with Chinese brothers.”
With over 12,500 athletes from 45 countries set to compete in a total of 61 competition items, the 19th Asian Games has become a carnival that attracts attention from the Asia and even the world. Pakistan is sending a fully-prepared contingent of 262 officials and athletes, who will compete in a total of 25 disciplines including cricket, hockey, swimming, badminton, Wushu and so on. Realizing the importance of sports in promoting national unity and strengthening people's physical fitness, the Government of Pakistan fully supports all athletes who represent the country in the Asian Games.
This article originally appeared on Gwadar Pro.