BEIRUT: Pakistan’s Najia Rasool shows off her bronze medal at the Asian Taekwondo poomsae event.
BEIRUT: Pakistan’s Najia Rasool shows off her bronze medal at the Asian Taekwondo poomsae event.

BEIRUT: Pakistan’s female athlete Najia Rasool produced a fine performance to win bronze medal in the Asian Taekwondo Poomsae, Over-17 Women Individual Freestyle category.

“Our coaches trained us with the latest rules and regulations for this event. Taekwondo talent in Pakistan has way too much potential which needs grooming and can result in more medals in the future,” said Najia.

Korea’s Sangyoop Kim and the Philippines Juvenile Crisostomo won gold and silver, respectively.

She added that medal winners for Pakistan need patronage from the government and private sector, it will boost the medals tally in sports.

Najia also won silver in the mixed team freestyle category. The Asian Poomsae event ended with Korea winning the most gold medals followed by second-placed Iran.

In the honour of the medallist, South Asian Taekwondo Association president Omar Saeed gave a reception to all officials and athletes. Deputy Head of Mission Pakistan Embassy, Lebanon Aman Ullah, who also attended the dinner, said these people are the pride of Pakistan and the real ambassadors of the nation. Secretary General Pakistan Taekwondo Federation Murtaza Bangash, team manager Ashfaq Ahmad and newly elected VP of WT Asia Iftikhar Tabassum were also present.

Punjab Taekwondo Association’s Patron Sahil Chaudhry announced Rs50,000 cash prizes for the medal winners.

Shahzaib will take on Saudi Arabia’s Riad Hamdi, Ammar will fight Mohammad Khusein Shomakhmadov of Tajikistan, Taimur will face off Korea’s Seung Hwan Lee while Syeda Hannah will clash against Azamova Shokhsanam of Uzbekistan.

Asian Taekwondo Championship, Kyurogi event will commence from 16th-18th at the Nouhad Naufal Indoor Stadium.

More than 25 countries will participate in the said event.

Pakistani athletes will feature in eight weight categories, (6 men, 2 women) in which Shahzaib Khan (-54kg), Haroon Khan (-58kg), Ammar Ashfaq (-68kg), Rab Nawaz (-80kg), Taimur Saeed (-87kg), Hamza Omar Saeed (+87kg), Syeda Hannah (-46kg), and Ayesha Noor (-49kg) will compete for the honours.

Published in Dawn, EOS, June 16th, 2021

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