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No country for sportsmen

No country for sportsmen

The biggest sporting carnival on the planet, the Olympics, is now less than three months away, starting on August 5, with the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro all set to host the mega event. More than 200 countries will compete in the Rio Games and only the generosity of the International Olympic Committee — in the form of wild card entries is going to ensure Pakistan’s token participation. As reported in this paper recently, an all-time low number of participants are expected to represent Pakistan, with only five national athletes projected to travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Pakistan’s representation in 2016 Olympics next to none

After the national hockey team failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in history, no Pakistani athlete was good enough to earn the right to directly participate in the Games. Apart from lacklustre on-field performances, this is also largely due to the incompetence of our sporting bodies and the lack of finances. For example, the wrestler Inamullah was denied entry to the Olympic qualifying round last month due to the sheer ineptness of the administrators as he failed to reach the venue of the qualifying event. Boxers like Mohammad Waseem have been crippled by the lack of financial support and despite displaying real talent, their growth has been brought to a grinding halt. In addition, the National Olympic Committee and the Pakistan Sports Board have been on the warpath and their tussle for power has crushed our athletes’ ambitions for glory. The government, it seems, couldn’t care less for the plight of Pakistan sport with there being little effort made to address the weaknesses of sporting federations and the problems afflicting our athletes. A case in point is the shocking demise of four bodybuilders recently through the consumption of expired steroids. Till date, the sports ministry hasn’t probed the national bodybuilding federation on this tragedy. With such a callous attitude, the failure to compete in the Rio Games through direct participation shouldn’t shock anyone. As they say, you reap what you sow.

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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