Pak weightlifters to leave for Baku blitz on Thursday


ISLAMABAD, May 10 (APP): Pakistan’s six-member weightlifting squad will depart for Baku, Azerbaijan on Wednesday to take part in the 4th Edition of Islamic Solidarity Games, scheduled to be held from May 12 to 22.
“Our squad is consisted of four weightlifters and two officials,” Secretary Pakistan Weightlifting Federation (PWF) Amjid Amin Butt told APP on Wednesday.
“We are in the process of preparing maximum number of our weightlifters for the Common Wealth Games. Hence, we are not sending the same outfit that represented the country in last month’s Asian Championship at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
Pakistan’s three weightlifters Abdul Ghafoor (56kg), Mohammad Shehzad (62kg) and Haider Ali (77kg) featured in the Asian Championship. Though they failed to earn any medal, their performance was satisfactory and they managed to meet the qualifying standards for the Commonwealth Games, to be hosted by Australia in April, next year.
Pakistan’s squad for Baku Games includes Talah Talib (62kg), Abu Sufyan (69kg), Usman Rathor (94 kg) and Nooh Dastgir (+105kg). Two officials Ali Asghar and Muhammad Ilyas will accompany the weightlifters as coach-cum-team managers.
Amjid said there was no dearth of talent in the country and that was why the federation was sending a new outfit to Baku. He said the participation in Islamic Solidarity Games would provide a chance to athletes to showcase their skills besides helping them to earn valuable points to qualify for the Common Wealth Games.
“We’ve set our eyes on the Common Wealth Games and it will be our effort to send our athletes in all the categories of the coveted sports event,” Amjid added.
He stated that the weightlifting athletes had undergone a tough training and their selection was purely on merit.
“Though world’s best weightlifters will be seen in action at Baku Games, we are expecting some good results from our athletes, especially Nooh Dastagir], who we believe is one of the top contenders,” he added.
Weightlifting is among the 20 sports disciplines included in the programme for the Solidarity Games, with both men and women athletes contesting for 16 gold medals over five days.