PWF considering sending wrestlers to Kazakhstan next year

Alam Zeb Safi
Sunday, Oct 10, 2021

KARACHI: Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) is mulling an option to send its wrestlers next year to Kazakhstan for two to three months training in order to prepare for the Commonwealth Games which are slated to be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8, 2022.

“You know we have a solid chance to win medals in Birmingham. We plan to hold a two or three months camp at Kazakhstan. If we are able to do so, we will be able to give the nation good news during the Commonwealth Games,” the PWF vice-president Arshad Sattar told ‘The News’ in an interview on Saturday.

Pakistani wrestlers won one gold and two bronze in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

But this time Arshad is confident if solid preparation is made then more medals can come. “If we are able to prepare well and give exposure to out lot then we can even win two golds this time. Besides Inam we have Inayat and Mohammad Bilal who can pull off golds,” Arshad said.

But before the Commonwealth Games Pakistan has ahead a few more vital events including Commonwealth Wrestling Championship which will be hosted by South Africa in Johannesburg from December 3-5, 2021, and Asian Championship which will be held at a yet to be decided venue from April 19-24, 2022.

Next year there are also a few ranking Series. “Yes whatever the events will be available before the Commonwealth Games we will try our best to send our wrestlers,” Arshad said.

“But Commonwealth Championship in Johannesburg is very important and we want to send wrestlers there in all ten weight categories. It will be a litmus for us and on the basis of performances here we will be in a perfect position to know how we will perform in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham,” Arshad said.

In order to meet its targets the PWF wants to hold National Championship later this month in Lahore in order to pick wrestlers for the Commonwealth Championship camp.

But the big issue is that the government has imposed restrictions on full body contact sports activities in the country due to Covid issues. Arshad said that the PWF has written to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), requesting it to lift the restrictions.

“A week ago we wrote to the NCOC to give us permission to hold our national championship as we are to prepare for the world level and other international events. I hope we will be granted permission for the purpose,” Arshad said.

“If we are given permission we will go for the national event. We have already written to the affiliated units that we will be going to hold a national event in October. If NCOC declines our request then we will hold trials to pick wrestlers for the camp for the Commonwealth Championship to be held in South Africa,” Arshad added.

“The government is silent. Army has said to us that it will back our camp in its headquarters in Rawalpindi,” Arshad revealed.

“If the things go in right direction then we will hold a one-month camp for the December Commonwealth Championship,” Arshad said.

Serbia is also set to host the Under-23 World Championship from November 1-7 but the PWF does not have any plan to field its wrestlers in this event. “We don’t have money and cannot send our wrestlers there,” Arshad said.

The PWF has already also written to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) for a foreign coach.

As many as 35 days after the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham China will host the Asian Games.