ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Taekwando Federation (PTWF) women wing president Saba Shamim Jadoon believes that long-term training camp with best facilities can help Pakistani players win medals in international events.

Talking to The Nation, Saba blamed poor very less training of athletes for such results in Asian Games. “Less than two months training, and that too in patches, is not enough to compete well in the second largest event of the world. We need to train the athletes round the year and provide them facilities and international coaches while female athletes need a female coach, who may better communicate with them and prepare them well for winning international medals.

Saba said: “Both boys and girls did a fantastic job during the Asian Games taekwondo event. I must confess that Haroon remained unlucky to lose the crunch fight in extra time, as he played out his heart and I am very happy the way he demonstrated his fighting skills.”

She said belonging to far-flung area of Balochistan, Haroon was with the federation for last three years and he was being groomed well. “I am also with other athletes and trying to help them in the best possible manner. We lack not only international exposure and international-standard training and coaching, but also in infrastructure. We time and again requested Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) to provide us with a reputed international coach, but no heed was paid.”

“We have very talented male and female players and if provided with international exposure and training, the same lot can win glories for the country. I strongly suggest the PSB to start training camp for taekwondo players immediately as six months are left in the South Asian Games, to be held in Nepal. We have ample time to ensure our athletes get long-training, then we won’t have any lame excuse while the athletes have to deliver and win medals,” he added.

The PTWF official said that last Asian Games were held in 2014 in Korea and the countries took four years to train, while Pakistan players got just few weeks for such a mega event. “I am optimistic that the new government under the dynamic leadership of Imran Khan will definitely look into sorry state of affairs of sports in Pakistan. The PSB needs an overhaul and the new PSB Director General must be a passionate sports lover and technocrat, having aim of bringing Pakistan sports to new heights.

“I appeal to IPC Minister Dr Fahmida Mirza to arrange a meeting with all the federations. We have four players including Haroon, Shahzaib Khan, M Iqbal and Anila, who came from UK. If these players are given training and facilitated well, they will surely deliver and win laurels for the country,” Saba concluded.