KARACHI, Sept 26: A strong 93-member contingent of Special Olympics Pakistan (SOP) including 65 athletes left on Wednesday for Shanghai, China, to compete in the 12th Special Olympics World Summer Games being held there from Oct 2 to 12.

The athletes, who will feature in nine disciplines, are accompanied by 22 men and women’s coaches, three assistants and as many officials including Ronak Lakhani (head of delegation), Nassimbano Ahmed (assistant head of delegation) and Saeed Ahmed (delegate). An athlete, Sabir Khan, could not accompany the squad due to indisposition.

The disciplines in which the athletes will make their presence felt includes aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, booce, cycling, football, table tennis and tennis.

Pakistan returned with a haul of 89 medals – 43 gold, 32 silver and 14 bronze – in the last games held at Dublin, Ireland, four years back. However, this time they have aimed to reach the 100 medal mark.

Meanwhile, former Test pacer Wasim Akram who is the ambassador of SOP, on Tuesday night graced a send-off dinner. He mingled with the Shanghai-bound special athletes and wished them success in their endeavour. Around 7000 athletes from 170 nations are expected to feature in the quadrennial games.

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