ISLAMABAD  - Pakistan’s fastest man Liaqat Ali, Saddam Hussain and head coach Asghar Gill looked confident about Pakistan’s chances in the South Asian Games in India.

Saddam would lead Pakistan’s charge in 110 metres hurdles in the absence of top gun M Sajjad, who had opted not to participate in the event due to his marriage. While talking exclusively to The Nation on Sunday, Saddam said: “Pakistan had always performed well in 110m hurdles and either take gold or silver in past events. I know it would be very hard to fill Sajjad’s shoes and it would put extra responsibility on me and Mohsin Ali, who is the current number two of the country to perform well and win medal for Sajjad and country.” The 23-year-old, who joined Pakistan Army in 2011 and working as Lance Naik, said he choose athletics after getting inspired by his father Faryaad Ali, who was a national 400m champion. Saddam considers Pakistan athletes Liaqat Ali and M Sajjad his heroes and said would love to perform like Usain Bolt and 110 world champion Cuban Dayron Robles. “I had never ever represented Pakistan in international event, but it doesn’t mean, I am not prepared for mega events. I would love to not only represent country, but also play key role in helping Pakistan maintained its stranglehold.”

Saddam showed full confidence in coach Asghar Gill but said he needed to be based at China for at least 6-months to improve his level and if provided the facility he would bring laurels fir the country.

He rued the lack of international exposure. “We are far behind, we don’t even have a single indoor stadium, where we could train and prepare ourselves for events. This year majority of international events would be held in indoor stadiums. We find it really difficult to adjust as we don’t have such facilities in Pakistan.”

When asked about realistic chances of winning medal in 110m hurdles, Saddam replied I would go all out for gold and I am pretty much confident along with Mohsin Ali, we would end up getting both gold and silver medals on offer.

While sharing his views Pakistan’s fastest ever athlete Liaqat Ali said he would vie for at least two gold medals in the SAG. “I would participate in three events and would try my level best to win all three medals and two of them would be by the grace of Allah gold’s. I would participate in 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. I am quite sure about winning 100m and 200m gold medals.”

When asked about whether he should have been given exemption from trials as he is the top athlete of the country, Liaqat replied: “No I would like to appear in the trials and show my fitness. It would be good for other athletes to get a chance to prove their authority in the trials. I had improved my time in both 100 and 200m.” When asked about how much he would give himself fitness points out of 100, Liaqat replied 80; “I am very close to my level best and would certainly reach peak in the days to come. I am not taking even Sundays off and preparing myself for the SAG and after that Fajr International Indoor Championship next month. I would compete in 60m. If provided with at least 1-month training even at China, it would make hell lot of difference. Aas far as facilities are concern, we are getting top class facilities, accommodation and meal. DG PSB Dr Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera, DDG Facilities Agha Amjedullah and Assistant Director Hostels Malik Imtiaz Hussain are taking very good care of all of us. Imtiaz is like fatherly figure to all and he is always ready to help us out whenever we need anything, he added.

While sharing his views head coach Asghar Gill termed Pakistan athletes had great chance of winning a number of gold medal both in male and female category.