KARACHI - A former international athlete who wore national colours during Pakistan's golden era of fifties and sixties has asked Pakistan Sports Board not to sacrifice the universally accepted selection process based on fitness and performance on the alter of age. Speaking to The Nation here Tuesday Muhammad Talib , a former 110 hurdles national gold medallist, said that PSB's new strategy aiming at promoting athletics through placing age limit on selection of athletes for international event was misleading and would not yield the expected results. A spokesman of the PSB is reported to have told media that the PSB was laying down a new strategy aimed at bringing new talent in athletics by placing maximum age limit of 30 as condition for selection in Pakistan team. He said universally it had been accepted that physically fit and performing athletes should be selected irrespective of age. To prove his point, he said how 32 year old Edwin Moses of USA won gold medal in 400 meters hurdler considered as one of the toughest event. Age did not deter Moses' from performing because he was superfit and was clocking the best timings. Even Pakistan history is full of athletes of international repute who won medals for Pakistan at international events while in their early thirties, he disclosed. Long distance runner Mubarak Shah, hammer thrower Iqbal Butt, Allah Ditta and even Abdul Razik who won record breaking four gold medals for Pakistan in 110 hurdles all performed well when they were in their early thirties. Those athletes who created a niche for Pakistan in international athletics won medals because they were fit to perform and age did not come in their way. Talib who is running a free of charge Athletics Fitness School here for the last 31 years that produced a number of young boys and girls athletes, said the PSB in order to encourage younger athletes had come up with a wrong idea of age restricted selection. The planned PSB step would not encourage youngsters but would place a restriction on performance that could deny medal winning opportunity to Pakistani athletics, he argued. To encourage youngster did not mean to discourage performance. If the PSB was interested in attracting youth to athletics, the best way, he suggested was to organise mass athletics participation from school to college and university level across the country. If one wanted to catch a talented athlete young it should be done at primary school level which was the best stage to tap the natural talent. The PSB had its own junior level competition but that was not as effective as it should be. The PSB has on its pay rolls a number of persons who had certificates and degrees of athletic coaching from foreign institution, he said and enquired why their services were not being utilized in the field in which they were expert to train youngsters. All the money and time spent on these experts were being wasted by giving them administrative postings, he said. The PSB, with the support of national and provincial federation, and all the educational boards in the country should organise athletics at school level to scout talent and groom them instead of abandoning it midway through. He said he had contributed in some way in the promotion of sports by producing athletes of national repute like Mahboob Dawood, Nasib Gul and Mesaq Rizvi and many more in boys and Naushaba Khan, Connie Yu, Rizwana Wahid among girls. The PSB and the national federation with greater recourses could do much more if they had a training programme for talented athletes, he said. Producing an international level athlete was time consuming task. It required both money and patience, he added. He said one of the reasons athletics and other sports in the country had gone down was due to splitting of sports from education ministry. Decline in sports came when sports was detached from education. After separation, the education department which comes under education ministry suddenly lost its interest in sports which became an orphan. He gave his personal example how chairmen of various education board would make him wait for hours before granting him an interview just because he had gone to them for holding inter school athletes. However, there were some exception when educationist with foresight would help him, he added.