LAHORE-Pakistan Taekwondo Federation (PTF) has informed the World Taekwondo that it is keen to send its athletes to compete at this year’s World Junior Championships.

The world game’s governing body in an online survey has asked the taekwondo playing nations to apprise as whether or not their athletes will be able to participate in this year’s World Junior Championships. The World Taekwondo has already announced that it was hoping to stage the Grand Prix Finals and Gala in Cancun in November as planned. The organisation also said that the World Junior Championships and the World Taekwondo General Assembly in Sofia, Bulgaria in October are also set to be held as scheduled.

“The organisation has sought our comments in an online survey. We’ve told them that we are ready to send our athletes, but certain issues may deny our participation in the event,” said Col (r) Waseem Ahmed and added: “The world body has also inquired about the coronavirus situation in our country and we’ve updated them.”

Waseem said that the organisation was also told that in the prevailing situation, the government has not allowed to hold training camps. “We’ve also told the world body that Pakistan is also among the countries, whose citizens are not allowed to enter Europe for six months - due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

He said that even if a decision is taken to ease travel restrictions for Pakistani athletes, the federation would face difficulties to arrange their participation in the event as it was suffering from scarcity of funds. “Though we’ve been issued the annual grant, the amount is not enough to cater to our needs,” he added.

He said the federation has continued the online training of four to five male and as many female players, but added that such an arrangement was not an alternative to training camps. The PTF is also set to hold Pakistan Open (G-1) 2020 and South Asian Region Championships by the end of October. The Pakistan Open is the first World Taekwondo certified event of its kind in Pakistan and is scheduled to begin on October 24. The South Asian Region Championship will take place soon after the conclusion of the first event.

Waseem said so far no decision has been taken to postpone these events. “Since the eruption of coronavirus, the World Taekwondo has been reviewing the situation every month. We’ve still two months to hold these events. But these will only take place on the scheduled dates, if the situation in our country improves. “We’ve purchased equipment of around Rs 10 million from South Korea to hold these events. It has reached UAE and as soon as the flight operation begins, we will receive it.” a