KARACHI The 42nd National Athletics Championship will be held for the first time in Karachi here at the National Coaching Centers tartan track from May 26 to 28, Secretary Sindh Athletics Association Zahid Rizvi, who is also the organizing secretary of the three day event, announced here Friday. Zahid, himself a former hammer thrower, said the national championship had been held in Sindh in the past but Karachi had never independently hosted the event ever. The city had held an international athletics meet in the city in 2001 in which 11 countries took part. Karachi has hosted the national event, but it was part of the National Games and not an independent event. He said the 15 affiliated units of Athletics Federation of Pakistan will take part in the championships which is being held just 140 days before the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. Pakistan is expected to send a strong athletics contingent to the Games. It was at the Commonwealth Games in mid fifties that Pakistan made its presence felt in athletics when nations top athletes mostly from Army won many medals. At Vancouver Commonwealth Games in 1954, Muhammad Iqbal won the hammer throw with a heave of 181 feet eight inches. Abdul Khaliq qualified for the 100 yards semi-final. At Cardiff Commonwealth Games in 1958, Ghulam Raziq won a bronze medal in 120 yards hurdles. Ramzan Ali took bronze in long jump, Jalal Khan took silver in javelin throw and in hammer throw Muhammad Iqbal took silver. Pakistan finished 7th among 35 countries. In Perth Commonwealth Games in 1962, Ghulam Raziq won gold in 110 yards hurdles. In Kingston Commonwealth Games in 1966, Nawaz won bronze in javelin throw, Ghulam Raziq finished with bronze in 110 hurdles and Muhammad Iqbal also finished with a bronze in hammer throw. The AFP may use the coming national championships as trials to select probable for New Delhi Commonwealth Games.