KARACHI: Olympian athlete Najma Parveen has been picked in Pakistan’s two-member athletics squad which will feature in the Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast Australia from April 4-15.
The country’s premier javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem had already been picked for the tour in which Pakistan would feature in ten disciplines.“Yes, Najma will take part along with Arshad in the Commonwealth Games,” Athletics Federation of Pakistan’s (AFP) secretary Mohammad Zafar told ‘The International News’ on Monday.
Najma was part of Pakistan’s squad in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She has been terrific in multiple events in which she has been featuring for the last few years. Her favourite events are 100m, 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles and relays.
She won six gold medals in the last National Athletics Championship in Karachi in April last year.Zafar said that it is yet to be decided in how many events she would feature. Arshad, former IAAF Under-20 world No3, will be the main hope of Pakistan in Commonwealth Games.
“His trainer has told me that he has improved and will put in his best in Australia,” Zafar said. Arshad’s best throw is 78.33m and if he is able to record over 80m then he may finish at the victory podium.
Arshad and Najma will be accompanied by Abida Tanveer as official. Abida is a former international athlete and is serving as secretary of Pakistan Women Athletics Association. As many as 40 athletes are training at the Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad.
Besides athletics, Pakistan will feature in events of hockey, shooting, wrestling, weightlifting, boxing, badminton, table tennis, swimming and squash.The AFP on Monday also announced that it would hold trials to pick athletes for three major international events on January 10 at the Pakistan Sports Complex Islamabad.
The AFP added that the trials would begin at 12:15pm in 60m, 400m, long jump, and 10,000m. The events for which the trials are being conducted are the 8th Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Tehran, IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in Birmingham and South Asian Cross Country Championships in Bhutan.
Zafar said that Pakistan has got a quota of five athletes for the Asian Indoor Athletics Championship to be held from January 31 to February 3. “Four athletes will be picked for 4x400m relay and 400m, while one will be selected either in 60m, triple jump or long jump. It will be decided after trials as we will see the results in these events,” Zafar said.
He added that Pakistan has got a quota of only one athlete for the World Indoor Athletics Championship to be held in England. “We will try to send an athlete in 400m or 60m,” he said.He revealed that effort would be made to send five boys and five girls to Bhutan for featuring in cross country.