KARACHI: Pakistan failed to pick any medal in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games weightlifting competitions.
Faisalabad-born Mohammad Shahzad came very close to a medal but missed it when he ended fourth in the 56 kilogramme competitions. But this time weightlifting authorities are confident that their weightlifters will be able to clinch a couple of gold medals in the Commonwealth Games slated to be held at Gold Coast, Australia, from April 4-15.
“We target a couple of gold medals this time,” Pakistan Weightlifting Federation’s (PWF) secretary Amjad Amin Butt told ‘The International News’ from Lahore on Tuesday.Butt claims Pakistan has improved a lot. “Our whole management has worked very hard during the last four years. I am hopeful we will achieve the desired results in Gold Coast competitions,” Butt said.
PWF has sent through Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) by name the entries of seven weightlifters to the organisers of the Gold Coast Games but the federation plans to hold trials before announcing the squad for the tour.
“We are going to hold trials on February 7 in Islamabad which will give us a real picture. Our priority will be to send those who are capable of performing well in Australia. And it can only be decided after trials,” Butt said.
“We cannot replace any one in the list of the seven we have sent, but we can reduce the squad if any weightlifter is unable to impress the selectors with his fitness and performance,” Butt said.
Ilyas Butt and Ali Aslam are supervising the camp at the Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad. The PWF has kept 14 weightlifters in the camp, two each in each seven groups. As per Commonwealth Games weightlifting rules, a nation can field only one weightlifter in one weight.
Butt also revealed that Pakistan would be featuring in the Asian Youth and Junior Championships to be held in April in Uzbekistan.“The camp for that event has already been started at Lahore. It is yet to be decided how many athletes will be sent. The event will be held after the Commonwealth Games,” Butt said.
“Apart from these two events, we will feature in Asian Games the coming summer and then it will be seen in how many invitational events we field our players in 2018,” the PWF official said.
In the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, an 89-member contingent of Pakistan will feature in ten disciplines, which are hockey, athletics, swimming, squash, table tennis, badminton, shooting, boxing, weightlifting and wrestling.
In 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games Pakistan claimed three silver medals and one bronze. Mohammad Waseem (52kg), a leading pro boxer now, Olympian judoka Shah Hussain (-100kg) and wrestler Qamar Abbas (74kg, freestyle) grabbed silver medals, while wrestler Azhar Hussain captured bronze in the 57kg freestyle competitions. Azhar had also won gold in freestyle and silver in Greco Roman style competitions in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.