ISLAMABAD          -        Pakistani athletes continued their brilliant run in the 13th South Asian Games 2019 which are in progress in Kathmandu, Nepal, as judokas Shah Hussain Shah and Karamat Ali won gold medals on Monday.

While Pakistani weightlifters Talha Talib, Usman Rathore, Muhammad Hanzala Dastgir and Nooh Butt showed impressive skills and won four gold medals. Judoka Hamid Ali, playing in +100kg weight category, won all the league matches against India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka to grab gold medal. Shah Hussain Shah is all set to represent the country in 2020 Tokyo Olympics, as he won all the league matches against India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka with full points to clinch gold in -100kg. He just consumed less than 10 seconds against all opponents in all the fights.

In-90kg judo, Qaiser Khan won silver medal as he lost the final against India. Bisma Khan won silver medal in swimming, Sanaullah got silver in boxing, as he lost the final against Indian boxer, Muhammad Husnain, Beenish Khans, Humaira Ashiq and Amina Toyoda earned bronze medals.

Talking to The Nation, Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) President Col (R) Junaid Alam said: “I was sure that we had golden chances of excelling in Nepal, but I don’t know on what grounds, we were almost deprived of representing the country in 13th SAG. I am grateful to IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza, who came to rescue us, as if she hadn’t taken personal interest and ordered to ensure judokas participation in Nepal, the country would have definitely suffered so as judokas.

“We are giving our all to ensure Shah Hussain not only represent Pakistan in Olympics, but also trying to send him for every major event so that he may earn valuable ranking points. If players like Shah Hussain won’t represent the country in such events, who are sure to win medals, then how on earth we can even think about winning international laurels. I am sure Dr Fehmida will continue to lend a helping hand to us and in return, our athletes win glories for the country,” he added.

In squash team event, Pakistan got off to flying start and beat hosts Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, while Pakistani women team beat Sri Lanka 2-1. In the men’s first match against Nepal, Farhan Mehboob beat Simha Arhanta 3-0 in 18 minutes, as he won the first game 11-7, second 11-5 and third 11-3. Asim Khan beat Magar Amrit Thapa 3-0 in 17 minutes, winning 11-5, 11-4 and 11-5, Amaad Fareed thrashed Bhlon Amir 3-0 in just 14 minutes, winning 11-4, 11-1 and 11-1. Against Sri Lanka, Asim Khan beat Wakeel Mohomed Shamil 3-0 winning 11-9, 11-3 and 11-6, Amaad Fareed beat Perara Drunvinka 3-0, winning 11-4, 11-4 and 11-7 and Farhan Mehboob beat Holipitige Ravindu Hashintha 3-0 winning 11-4, 11-5 and 11-5.

Pakistan outperformed Bangladesh 3-0. Tayyab Aslam beat Sumon Md 3-0 in 20 minutes, winning 11-8, 11-9 and 11-9, Asim Khan beat Raju Sri Kumar 3-0 in 14 minutes, winning 11-8, 11-1 and 11-1 and Farhan Mehboob beat Debnath Runny 3-0 in 17 minutes, winning 11-4, 11-2 and 11-3.  Pakistani women beat Sri Lanka 2-1. Faiza Zafar beat Issadeen Fathoum 3-1 in 40 minutes, as she lost the first game 5-11, before winning next three games 11-8, 11-9 and 11-5 to give Pakistan 1-0 lead. Her younger sister Madina Zafar hammered Karuppu Yeheni 3-0 in 20 minutes, winning 11-1, 11-2 and 11-6 to give Pakistan an unassailable 2-0 lead, while in the third and dead rubber, Amna Fayyaz lost against Arachchige Mihiliya 0-3 in 21 minutes, with the scores of 7-11, 8-11 and 9-11.

Pakistan stand on number four with 32 gold medals, 37 silver, 55 bronze and total 124 medals. IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza congratulated the medal winners and promised to provide them more facilities, so that they may train harder and win more laurels for their country in international events.