Mohammad Abbas represented Pakistan at the previous Winter Olympics. -File photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan ski team have qualified for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics after attaining the required Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) points having participated in events held in Europe and Asia.

The points are awarded by the FIS to a skier on technical grounds like distance and time according to which a skier has to gain less than 140 points.

Pakistani contingent, comprising three athletes and a coach, have proved their mettle in the FIS events held last month in three countries namely Italy, Turkey and Lebanon.

An official of the Ski Federation of Pakistan (SFP) said that the Pakistan ski team—Mir Nawaz, Mohammad Karim and Mohammad Abbas— have achieved the required FIS points, ensuring berth for Pakistan in the Winter Olympics scheduled to be held from Feb 7 to 23, 2014.

Mohammad Abbas, 29, represented Pakistan in the 2010 Winter Olympics for the first time by competing in men’s giant slalom held in Vancouver, Canada where he finished 79th out of 103 skiers.

However, Mir Nawaz won the silver medal during the FIS race (Slalom) held recently in Lebanon, ensuring Pakistan’s qualification for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

“With the win in Lebanon we actually got confirmation of our participation in 2014 Winter Olympics,” said Pakistan contingent’s technical delegate Wing Commander Iftikhar Bajwa while talking to Dawn.

He further said that Mir Nawaz won the much-needed points while explaining that an athlete requires less than 140 points to secure a berth in the Winter Olympics.

“We will give chance to both Mohammad Abbas and Mohammad Karim since they might get a chance to participate in three more races,” Iftikhar maintained.

He also said: “We will select the best skier amongst the three once all of them complete their five races by January 2014.”

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