Pakistani Olympians 2016 making us proud
With full zeal and enthusiasm, the Rio Olympics 2016 has kicked off from 5th August in Brazil’s capital, Rio de Janeiro. The Rio Olympics, one of the biggest sports event, is in full swing with a participation of more than 10,500 athletes from various different countries. Like every year, this time also Pakistani athletes are participating in various games, making us all proud. These Pakistani Olympians have our full encouragement and support. And we wish them the best of luck. This time however, for the first time in history, Pakistan’s hockey team has failed to make it to the Olympics. Hence this time, Pakistan’s participation in Olympics is the lowest, with only seven athletes in total.
“Pakistan contingent will include seven athletes and 17 officials,” as told by the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA).
However, the participants, no matter how small in number, deserve a huge appreciation and acknowledgement for making it to one of the biggest sporting events in the world. The seven athletes representing Pakistan this time include swimmers, Lianna Swan and Haris Bandey, shooters, Ghulam Mustafa Bashir and Minhal Sohail, sprinters, Mehboob Ali and Najma Parveen and judoka, Shah Hussain Shah.
The shooting squad includes a 29-year-old Navy Marine, Ghulam Mustafa Bashir and a 21-year-old university student, Minhal Sohail. As told by Pakistan National Rifle Association Secretary, General Javed Lodhi to ‘Pakistan Today’, these two Pakistani participants are included in the 390 shooters, participating from 97 different countries. He further told that Ghulam Mustafa will be participating in the 25-metre Rapid Fire Pistol (RFP) category. And Minahil Sohail will be participating in the10-metre Female Air Riffle (FAR) category.
“I hope other Pakistani girls will be inspired by me and follow my footsteps.” Minahil says.
Minahil Sohail is the daughter of a naval officer and has taken part in various Asian tournaments and championships, internationally. She also won the 10-metre Air Rifle event in the National Shooting Championship.
The swimming group includes Pakistani swimmers Lianna Swan and Haris Bandey who are both based abroad.
Lianna Swan, the nineteen year old swimmer has been internationally representing Pakistan since 2010. Currently she holds eleven national records and a gold medal in the South Asian games.
“It’s not necessarily ‘Oh, I’m doing it to get to the Olympics myself.’ I’m also doing it for the girls in Pakistan. Because if they see me doing it, and they’ve seen me swim and they’ve seen me train and they’ve seen me being able to go to the Olympics, then they know, there’s no reason they can’t go to the Olympics as well,” Lianna says.
These words of encouragement and empowerment for the women of Pakistan, give them a hope. And a reason to believe in their dreams because if she can do it, why can’t they.
Sprinter Mehboob Ali will be competing for the men’s 400m heats on August 13th. While Najma Parveen will compete in the women’s 200m heats on 15th August.
Pakistani judoka, Shah Hussain Shah is participating in -100kg weight category of Judo competition.
So far, the shooter, Minahil and Haris failed to qualify for the next round. Minahil secured 28th rank among 51 shooters. Whereas needed to get a position in the top eight to qualify. Also the swimmer, Haris Bandey could not qualify in the first round after coming last in men’s 400m freestyle heat.
However we heartily congratulate them as coming this far by making it to the biggest sports event was itself a great success. As for the remaining participants, we wish them the best of luck.
May the odds be in their favour!