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Last batch of Pak athletes, officials leave for London Back To Main


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KARACHI: The last batch of Pakistan’s athletes and officials left the country on Wednesday for the London Olympics 2012, which start on Friday (tomorrow).

Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Director Training Mohammad Yousuf told ‘The News’ that two athletes, Rabia Ashiq and Liaquat Ali, along with official Bushra Parveen and Dr Waqar Ahmad, flew out of Islamabad, while swimmer Israr Hussain and officials Fatima Lakhani, Zoraiz Lashari and shooting official Javed S Lodhi flew from Lahore.

Yousuf said that Pakistan contingent’s departure has now completed. He said that shooter Khurram Inam had left on Tuesday while Chief de Mission Syed Aaqil Shah also left Peshawar on Tuesday.

Contingent secretary cum treasurer Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera is already in London along with the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) chief Lt General (retd) Syed Arif Hasan who has been there for the last eight days.

England-born swimmer Anam Bandey is also in London. Pakistan hockey team had gone much earlier to play a few practice games ahead of their campaign starting on July 30 with a match against Spain.

POA secretary Khalid Mehmood was expected to leave on Wednesday night.

About the matter of the accreditation card for the IPC Joint Secretary Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Yousuf said he had not yet received the card.

Athlete Rabia will compete in the 800m race in the world’s most prestigious event. She bettered her personal best timing in the 800m by clocking 2.18 in the Asian Championship in Kobe (Japan) last year.

Sprinter Liaquat got a silver medal in the 100m relay in the South Asian Athletics Championship in Cochin, India, in 2008.

In 2009, he took part in the World Championship in Germany. In 2010 Dhaka South Asian Games he got bronze medals in 100m and 200m. Last year, in the Asian Championship in Japan he was disqualified after a false start in 100m.

The swimmer Israr Hussain will compete in the 100m freestyle. The Rawalpindi swimmer clocked 57.69 in 100m freestyle in the World Championship in China.

Anam Bandey will show her worth in the 400m Individual Medley in the Games. Anum broke the 10-year-old national record of Mehrunnisa in 200m breaststroke in the World Championship in Shanghai last year. She also broke Kiran Khan’s 400 Individual Medley record in that event.

Anum inked 2:58.85 timing in 200m breaststroke heat and recorded 5:37.11 in the 400m IM heat in Shanghai. This performance fetched her the ticket for London.

Moreover, this will be the third Olympic appearance for skeet shooter Khurram Inam who represented Pakistan in the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics.