LAHORE-IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza on Monday gave away cheques to the medal winning Pakistan weightlifting and tennis teams members, who excelled in the 13th South Asian Games held in Nepal from December 1-10, 2019.

Talking to The Nation, PSB Director Media M Azam Dar, who is also Acting Deputy Director General PSB, said: “Pakistan weightlifting team had the honour of clinching 5 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medal during the Games. Weightlifters Talha Talib, Haider Ali, Usman Amjad Rathore, Hanzla Dastgir Butt and Muhammad Nooh Dastgir Butt were the Pakistani weightlifters, who grabbed gold medals while those earned silver medals were Abu Sufyan and Rabbia Razzaq and Saima Shahzad bagged bronze medal.

“Similarly, tennis players Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, Aqeel Khan, Muzammil Murtaza and Muhammad Abid won silver medals in men’s team event while Ushna Suhail, Sara Mansoor, Mahin Aftab Qureshi and Sarah Mehboob Khan secured bronze medals in women team event. The pairs of Aisam and Ushna and Abid and Sara won bronze medals in the mixed doubles event. The men’s doubles bronze were bagged by Aisam and Aqeel and Muzammil and Abid while Aqeel and Muzammil won bronze medals in men’s singles,” he added.

Azam Dar further started that in line with approved cash award policy, gold medalists were given Rs 1 million each, silver medalists got Rs 500,000 while bronze medalists received Rs 250, 000 each. Total Rs 6.25 million and Rs.5.5 million were distributed among the weightlifters and tennis players respectively.” Besides IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza, other notables present on the occasion were Parliamentary Secretary of IPC Ministry Saima Nadeem, PTF Secretary Col (R) Gul Rehman, Deputy DG PSB Azam Dar and parents of few athletes.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Fehmida Mirza felicitated the medal winners and encouraged them to win more international medals for the country. “Half of the population of Pakistan is comprised of women. Their participation in the social life especially in the sports is really commendable. The role of their parents is also appreciable, as they encourage to their daughters to excel in the field of sports. You are ambassadors of Pakistan, who portray the soft image of the country while representing it abroad.

“Despite the fact that sports is a devolved subject and the provinces should take lead to allocate appropriate resources to encourage players training, provision of coaches, talent hunt, make enabling environment for the masses to take participation in healthy activities.