Paris-bound Faiqa wants to train under coach Fayyaz

Published May 28, 2024
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s 100m champion Faiqa Riaz takes part in a training session on Monday.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s 100m champion Faiqa Riaz takes part in a training session on Monday.

LAHORE: With the Paris Olympics just around the corner, Pakistan’s fastest female sprinter Faiqa Riaz is facing a crucial dilemma in her training.

Despite receiving a wild card entry, Faiqa is currently training in Islamabad without her coach Fayyaz Ahmad, whom she credits for her success.

“The time is running short, and I need my coach, Sir Fayyaz, on an immediate basis to continue the old schedule of training,” Faiqa told Dawn in an exclusive interview on Monday.

“He has been coaching me for the last two years and has made a specific training programme,” she added.

Faiqa, who claimed the title of Pakistan’s fastest woman after winning the 100m race at the last National Championships, is currently training under Seemi Rizvi in Islamabad. However, she expressed her concern that changing coaches at this stage would affect her performance.

The 100m sprinter has already shown improvement in her timing, reaching 11.70 seconds with a hand-watch, and aims to win the heat to qualify for the final. “I am quite hopeful to earn some good results for my country,” she said.

Faiqa’s journey to the Olympics has not been without challenges. She initially pursued hockey but was denied a chance to play for Wapda. The setback saw her to switch to athletics and ultimately become national champion.

Faiqa also lamented the lack of support from the government and sports authorities, stating that neither the Punjab nor federal government has provided adequate assistance to athletes representing Pakistan in the Olympics.

“We are only seven players participating in the Paris Olympics, and it is the best time for every government to play their maximum role in our preparations so that we can deliver our best to earn laurels for the country,” Faiqa stated.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2024

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