ISLAMABAD - Olympian Rabia Ashiq vows to break international medal jinx and win gold medal in the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku.

Talking to The Nation, 23-year-old Rabia, who has been national record holder in 5000m and 10000m and undefeated in 1500m for the last 8 years, said: “I am enjoying tremendous success at national level since 2009, but despite representing the country in 2012 London Olympics and participating in 10 international events, I just managed to improve my timings and never won international medal. But this time, I am committee to break international medal jinx.

“I have been training with national record holder coach Olympian Bushra Parveen for the last 7 years. I also trained with Olympian Sumaira Zahoor, but Bushra brought outstanding improvement in me. I am consistently maintaining my national timings in training session, which was missing in the past,” she added.

Rabia said she had highly experienced national coaches, who were no less than any top coach, but she said all the athletes including she need international exposure, as getting training abroad under international coaches will really bring a great difference, and the same bunch of players will start producing the best results.”

About Pakistani athletes’ chances of winning medal in Islamic Games, Rabia said: “We have less chances of winning medal against international players, even Nepal and Bangladesh athletes are provided international training and round-the-year training and their results speak themselves. We can only produce better results, when we will be provided with facilities and long-training camps under international coaches and will be provided international exposure.”

The Olympian said she had been unbeaten champion for the last 8 years, as no female athlete so far managed to even closer to her. “Although 1500m is my preferred heat, but I am also participating in 4x400m relay and we have bright chances of winning gold in it.

“I humbly request the Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) president to arrange long-training camps, international training or invite a top level international coach for the athletes, which will be in great benefit to all of us and results will be far better,” Rabia concluded