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Pakistani motivated by memory of dead friend


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I want to dedicate my Olympic appearance to Mubeen: Rabia Ishaq -File photo

KARACHI: Pakistan runner Rabia Ashiq will be motivated by the memory of a dead friend and colleague when she appears as one of her nation's two female athletes at the London Olympics.

The 20-year-old, who competes in the 800 metre heats on August 8, fondly remembers Mubeen Akhtar – one of the country's top sprinters who died in June.

“I am not a medal contender I know that but I want to dedicate my Olympic appearance to Mubeen who was a close friend and who always wished to compete in the Games,” Rabia told reporters.

Mubeen, Pakistan's fastest female sprinter in the national championships this year where she won the 100 and 200 metre, died after a freak accident at her home.

Her family said she tripped down the stairs and sustained serious head injuries and died later in hospital after being put on a ventilator.

“She was overjoyed when I got a wildcard entry for the Olympics,” Rabia recalled.

“Mubeen is the motivation for me to try to do well in my event. I want to make her, my coach Bushra Parveen and my country proud of me.”

In a country known for its conservative values, female athletes rarely get opportunities to compete at international level.

Apart from the successful men's hockey team who have won three gold medals, three silver and two bronze, Pakistan have won only two bronze medals in the Olympics.

Comments (4) Closed

@mhraja Jul 27, 2012 11:16am
Its like saying Pakistan Football team to go and win FIFA world cup ...? All the patriotism comes in like anything but compare the training standards she is getting and what medal winners will get/ Medal winners in long races have been from poor countries Kenya, Ethopia, Morocco but the training facilities these poor athletes have got are million times better than that in Pakistan. She is participating and trying to give her best is all we can ask from her. Good luck to Rabia, I hope she gives her all and make us all proud!!!
Mohammad Salim Jul 22, 2012 11:14pm
What a joke, Rabia!!! Granted that you have soft feelings for a friend, but don't you think you should at least try to prove that your wildcard entry was no fluke, and, by winning a medal, you not only honor your country, but also honor your friend? But what to talk about trying, you have laid down your arms by declaring that you are not a medal contender! I wonder how you will make your country proud!. The country can ill-afford to pay for joy-riders, and it would have been much better if you had withdrawn in favor of another aspiring athlete who would have at least given her heart and soul to earn a medal for the country.
B.Ally Jul 23, 2012 01:46am
Rabia I heard you talking on TV. You are a brave and a strong person. Learn from the winners how you can also win.
ahmet abdulaziz Jul 25, 2012 05:22am
Very noble thinking of Rabia. I wish her goodluck in her career.