LAHORE - Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF) on Monday announced a 12-member national cycling team to take part in the upcoming 33rd Asian Cycling Championship being held in New Delhi, India from March 7 to 17.

Addressing a news conference here on Monday, PCF president Munawar Baseer briefed the media about the Pakistan’s first time participation with a full team in the Asian Cycling Championship. He said the team selection had been carried out by the selection committee under the chairmanship of Ijaz Ali Sheikh. The selection committee members include Tariq Alvi, Shafiq Cheema, Nusrat Khan and Ishtiaq Mubeen. Secretary to the selection committee is Sardar Nazakat Ali.

The men elite track team consists of Noor Alam (SSGC) national track champion, Habibullah (SSGC), Naemat Ali (SSGC), Haroon Rasheed (Wapda), Sabir (Wapda) and Ghulam Abbas (Army). The men cycling team U-23 comprises Waqas Mehboob (Punjab), Sultan Aftab (Sindh), Abid (Sindh) and national road champion Sajid Ali (Army), girl elite cycling team includes Sabiha Zahid (KPK) and girl cycling team U-17, Anam Mahmood (Punjab). It was further informed that the team had been selected on merit based on overall performance of the cyclists over the past 12 months, during the recently concluded 60th National Cycling Championship, performance in the training camp and in the final trials. The training camp was held under the supervision of camp commandant Sardar Nazakat Ali.

Selection committee chairman Ijaz Sheikh said girl cyclist Anam who is handicapped from hearing and speaking is u-17 cyclist and will participate in that very category. The other cyclist from KPK was the only other female cyclist who was able to meet the qualifying time in the girls’ 500 meter individual pursuit. Unfortunately, other girl cyclists were not in proper training and could not qualify.

The PCF president expressed his confidence and hoped that the cyclists would perform well in the premier Asian activity. “This is the first time a national cycling team is taking part in the Asian championship with 30 other countries and the time for training was limited, but I am still hopeful that in few categories, Pakistan cyclists will indeed perform well and may win some medals including in the girls event.” He said the PCF had been greatly handicapped due to lack of funds but was thankful to the sponsors including SSGC, Lucky Cement, SNGPL, Candyland and others for their support. The team is expecting visas and will be leaving for India via Wahga border on March 6.