ISLAMABAD: Two London-based swimmers Lianna Swan and Harris Bandey apart from five other athletes will represent Pakistan in the Rio Games.
The two swimmers, as per the Pakistan Swimming Federation (PSF), have been selected purely on merit with their performance in the 16th World Championship held in Kazan, Russia, which was also an Olympic qualification round, being in the spotlight for their selection.
A press release issued by the PSF on Thursday stated that Lianna earned 1046 points while Harris bagged 1044 points in the said championship.
“Both the swimmers are in London where they are getting training for representing Pakistan as wild-card entrants,” said PSF president retired Major Majid Wasim.
He said that Saad Amin and Anum Bandey were the two other competitors for wild card entrants but they got 1041 and 908 points, respectively, and could not quality for the Games.
Meanwhile, PSF secretary Veena Masud said through a press release that the above points table would amply clarify all doubts regarding the selection criteria.
She said wild card entrants have represented Pakistan in several championships including the South Asian Games recently held in India where Lianna won a gold medal in the women’s 200m breaststroke.
Also, two athletes Mehboob Ali and Najma Parveen, two shooters and judoka Shah Hussain Shah’s participation has been confirmed.
Earlier, the Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) had announced the names of Mohammad Akram and Maria Maratab for wild card entry but they could not perform well in the recently-concluded national championship in Quetta.
“A few months back, we submitted names of Akram and Maria for wild card entry but Mahboob Ali and Najma showed brilliant performance during the National Games due to which we have finalised their names,” said AFP president Akram Sahi.
On the other hand, Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) director general Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera while talking to Dawn said that seven athletes would participate in the upcoming Rio Games.
“The participation of seven athletes is confirmed so far and in case our five-member boxing team which is playing the last qualifying round in Baku managed to qualify for the Games then it will be our great achievement,” he commented.
Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2016