ISLAMABAD - Mehak Agha, 13-year-old, has created ripples in swimming as she won two silver and one bronze medals in the recently-concluded National Games in Islamabad.

In an exclusive interview with The Nation on Wednesday, confident Mehak said: “I watched my elder sister appearing in different swimming competitions so I also decided to try my luck in this particular sport. I started swimming five years back without any proper coaching and just learned swimming by watching different Compact Discs (CDs).”

“There is no dearth in swimming talent but due to non-availability of swimming pools and professional coaches, girls and boys have very limited opportunities to showcase their skills especially when it comes to perform at international level,” she believed.  Mehak said it was his fourth championship as previously, she took part in Karachi and Lahore and won bronze medal in the 32nd National Games in Lahore which was her first ever medal in a competitive event. “My first victory gave me a lot of confidence and it is a source of great inspiration which helps me in winning two silver and one bronze medals for Islamabad in National Games 2013.”

Mehak said it was by all means a great and significant achievement for Islamabad girls keeping in mind they had to face the likes of professionally trained and international experienced players of Army and Navy. “We had great competition with Navy and we managed to edge them out in 100m free style 4x100 relay and won two silver medals while we also won bronze medal in 200m free style 4x100 relay.”

Mehak said: “I am only 13 and have great ambitions. I want to not only represent Pakistan in international swimming events, but also want to earn laurels at international stage, a feat, which no one either male or female have managed to achieve for the country in the past.”

Mehak is a student of 8th class of Siddique Public School Rawalpindi but her school doesn’t encourage or provide her any relief. She is a position holder and by no means an ordinary student and concentrating on her studies too.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thanks my parents, who are a source of great inspiration for me and never create any hurdle in my way. I have achieved all this just because of their all-out and unconditional support,” she added.

When asked if given chance to compete in international event, she replied: “No, I have to practice a lot before competing in an international competition, as I don't want to go out for a joy ride rather I want to bring medals in return. I will be able to compete in international events in short span of time, but for this, I need proper coaching from qualified coaches who can help me sharpen my skills and remove minor flaws in my technique,” she added. She said schools and colleges had to contribute in nourishing the raw talent and they must compensate talented youth in one way or another to encourage others to turn their directions in healthy supporting events.

“Swimming is my love and life. As far as a role model in swimming is concerned, I am not inspired by anyone. I will cherish to compete against any given opponent and give her a real run for her money. I am here to rule and win for my family and my country,” Mehak concluded.