PESHAWAR, Feb 13 (APP):President Pakistan Cycling Federation Syed Azhar Ali Shah Saturday said that Pakistan has got the right to host the South Asian Cycling Championship and the Championship would be organized either in Islamabad or Peshawar with eight countries have confirmed their participation.

He expressed these views while addressing a meet-the-press at the Media Center. President of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cycling Association Nisar Ahmad was also present. Syed Azhar Ali Shah said that 2021 will be a bright and glorious year in terms of cycling due to the difficulties faced because of coronavirus last year.

This year the competitions will start from March 29 with the National Cycling Track Championship, which will continue for three days. Junior and senior cyclists will participate in the Track National Championship to be held in Lahore while the second event is the Third International Dagger Cycle Race for which all preparations have been completed.

The competitions will be held before or after Ramazan, he said, adding, “The participation of seven countries in the event is almost certain. However, it is estimated that more than ten countries will participate in the Khunjerab International Cycle Race. Last year the event cost Rs 300 million.

He said that he is hopeful for the race to be held in Lahore. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has started work on an emergency basis to build a wooden velodrome of international standard, the first in Pakistan and handed over the work to Nespak for the construction. The project, he said, would be completed by March next year.

The Pakistan and Provincial Cycling Association are very grateful to the provincial government for this, he said, adding, “last year we had to participate in a number of international competitions including Switzerland Wood Cycling Championship, Asian Track Championship in Malaysia but all of such events were postponed due to coronavirus.

The Road Championship was held in Karachi which was very successful as well as the International Road Championship was held in Islamabad in which the Afghanistan team also participated and invited some other countries for the event but they could not make it to the event.

He said that some people create hurdles in the way of PCF because of its achievements. “We are telling the Pakistan Olympic Association that they are doing the right thing. Let all the federations do their job for the betterment of the country and the nation,” he added.

On this occasion, the provincial president Nisar Ahmed said that the Chief Minister has given the plan for the Swat International Cycle Race and hopefully soon he would give us a go ahead signal for holding the international event.

After the approval of Chief Minister KP Mahmood Khan the PFC would hold the International Swat Cycle Race soon after Eid-ul-Fitr wherein more than nine countries are expected to participate, he concluded.