Barring the boxing event, the fate of which would be clear in a week time, Pakistan has secured seven places in the Rio Olympics getting under way from August 5.
Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) secretary Muhammad Khalid Mehmood while talking to The Truth Pursuit said that seven athletes in four dissimilar events have until now confirmed their tickets to Rio.
The seven athletes confirmed for the Olympics also comprise three straight contestants. In shooting, Ghulam Mustafa Bashir and Minhal Sohail have eligible for Olympics.
Shah Hussain Shah, a judoka, has also made it to the Olympics on continental quota.
“I will have to praise the contribution put in by POA president Lt Gen (R) Arif Hasan in ensuring that two shooters managed tickets to Rio. The POA has fully contributed in their training and providing them other facilities that helped them to earn a berth in Rio bound contingent.”
Though, Shah Hussain Shah mostly trained in Japan, Khalid said POA always helped him when required, “Shah Hussain’s qualification is the other good news for Pakistan. POA has extended all possible support to him in making sure that he represents Pakistan in Rio Olympics.”
Apart from the direct qualifiers, two swimmers Haris Bandey and Liana Swan have been give wild card entries for the Olympics.
The names of two athletes, Muhammad Ikram and Maria Maratib have been sent to the organizing committee for confirmation. However, the two names have yet to be confirmed as the final response form the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) is yet to come.
“I think the final response from the IAAF would be with us in July. Possibly they would first look for a vacancy as in which discipline the wild card is available before offering it to Pakistan.”
Khalid, however, rued the absence of hockey, saying that it had always been Pakistan national game that had shaped the Olympic contingent in the past.
“This is for the very first time that hockey is mission from Pakistan contingent. Hockey use to carry hopes of the nation in Olympics. For the first time we will miss hockey. It is because of the absence of the national game that Pakistan would be having the smallest of the contingents this time.”