ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s hopes to participate in the London olympics boxing event were dashed when M Waseem lost to Mongolian boxer 22-9 in the quarterfinal of the Asian Olympic Qualifying Boxing Tournament, which is underway in Uzbekistan.
Waseem’s defeat means all the five boxers who participated in the event failed to earn an olympics place and it would be second consecutive Games when no pugilist will represent Pakistan in the mega event.
Pakistan's hopes of qualifying for the London olympics were heavily relied on Waseem, who recently won the lone gold medal for the country in the second Benazir Bhutto International Boxing Tournament held in Islamabad in December last year in the 52kg category. Despite strong recommendations from coaches and federation, Waseem insisted to take part in 52kg category against the advice of federation who wanted him to take part in 49kg category, where his chances of qualifying were far brighter.
Inside sources on condition of anonymity told this scribe that if Waseem contested in 49kg category, his place in the olympics was more than guaranteed. But he insisted on participating in 52kg, as he didn't want to give any room or space to another strong contender Haroon Khan, younger brother of former British world champion Aamir Khan of Pakistani origin, who preferred to represent Pakistan instead of Britain and participated in 52kg category in the Benazir Boxing Championship, the sources added.
Pakistan Boxing Federation is to blame for such worst performance as they are responsible for not providing the boxers enough training facilities