KARACHI - Muhammad Inayatullah made history for Pakistan on Friday as he claimed the 70kg title at the Beach World Wrestling Championships by defeating an Irani opponent in Dalyan, Turkey.

After his win over a Turkish opponent in the semi-finals, Inayatullah repeated the trick in the title-decider as he became the first-ever Pakistani wrestler to win a title at any world wrestling championship. Not the one to rest on his laurels, he now wants to go all the way at next year’s Youth Olympic Games.

“I’m so happy to win this title,” Inayatullah was quoted as saying by a website. “It’s a great feeling to have this gold medal around my neck. It’s something I’ve worked very hard for. I’m even more motivated now to win a gold medal at the youth Olympics next years. It is just the beginning.”

The Peshawar-based wrestler also dedicated his win to the people of Pakistan. Trained by his dad M Zahid — an Asian Games medallist himself — Inayatullah naturally credits his old man, but he also made sure not to forget his teammates, including top wrestler M Inam, who himself is competing in the 90kg event. “I just want to thank my coach, my father and Inam for being extremely supportive,” said Inayatullah. “He is more excited for me than I am.”

Inam, the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medalist, returned the compliment by saying that Inayatullah has made Pakistan most proud among all the wrestlers that have ever represented the country internationally.

“He has done something that nobody else has,” said Inam. “I’m impressed, I’m proud, there are all these emotions. I did guide him, but at the end of the day it is Inayat who delivered the performance that has changed Pakistan’s history in the sport.”

“[Mind you] none of our wrestlers had won a title at any world championship in any of the wrestling events before him. I’m just waiting what Pakistani government can do for him now and how people receive him after such a remarkable feat,” he added.

Pakistan’s most memorable wrestling achievement at Olympic level has been Muhammad Bashir’s bronze medal at the 1960 Games.