hefei (CHINA) - China youth delegation vice president of Hefei city Hong has promised to extend all-out support to Pakistani athletes in all sporting fields and will also especially work for promotion of tenpin bowling in Pakistan.

Pakistan youth delegation head Mansoor Ahmed said this during an exclusive interview with The Nation. He said: “I, along with Juniad Shah and others, have a wonderful meeting with Hong, who highly applauded Pakistan youth delegation, terming it friendship booster between both neighbouring countries and extended his all-out cooperation in different sporting fields.”

Mansoor said Hong was passionate about boosting sports ties, exchange of coaches and athletes. “Hong was also very fervent about tenpin bowling, which is gaining popularity in the city. I informed him that Pakistan Tenpin Bowling Federation (PTBF) has also been doing great job, promoting young talent and not only conducting national championships in different cities, but also sending combination of senior and junior players to different international events. The PTBF has also invited international coaches to train Pakistani youth.”

The Pak delegation head said upon his return to the country, he would hold meeting with PTBF secretary Ijaz Ur Rehman Khan and ensure Pakistani bowlers may get benefit from Chinese counterparts. “Besides tenpin bowling, we will also utilize Chinese assistance in athletics, gymnastic, table tennis, basketball and tennis and also exchange coaches, as we can offer our expertise in squash, hockey, boxing and cricket.”

Mansoor said the way Pakistani athletes and delegation members took interest during their visit to Beijing Sports University and watched top and upcoming Chinese players training under former greats, it would surely help them learn a lot. “Chinese are grooming their youth by hiring former greats and it is a key to their success. We also need to follow and focus, what the Chinese have been doing to become sports superpower.”

He said he must appreciate talented youth of the country, who despite facing so many difficulties and lack of international exposure, has been proving their mettle and beating better-facilitated opponents. “I was really impressed with Sadiq Public School Bahawalpur students, who outclassed Chinese youth basketball team, while Kainat beat Chinese opponent in table tennis. It was quite heartening. It also gave me a lot of heart and I will present my detailed report upon my arrival in Pakistan and mark the areas where we need to work.

“We have excellent facilities available in Pakistan but we lack modern-day training and lack best coaching. If we get benefit from our neighbours China by either sending our players there or hire their coaches to train our players, it can help Pakistan sports excel. We must chalk out comprehensive plans to first select youth group and then send them to China, as a number of athletes, including Sadiq Public School students, were extended offer to stay in China and enjoy best training under top Chinese coaches.”

An exhibition table tennis match was also played between Sadiq Public School, Bahawalpur teacher Sohail Tariq and Chinese youth player Xin Lee. Tariq simply outclassed his opponent to win the first game 21-13. Lee then bounced back in the second game to take 9-2 lead, but Tariq came from behind to shock Lee and carved out sensational 21-18 victory.

Pakistani delegation concluded their one-week Chinese tour on a positive note, while Deputy Department Chief, Department of Culture and Sports of China Youth Centre for International Exchange Xu Chuan was also very much present on the occasion and promised to ensure the visits would continue and the next Pakistan tour would be made more memorable.

Masnoor thanked Xu Chuan, Chinese head of mission with Group-2 Xu Shuwen, Danny Katrine, Zheng Mutong alias Ayesha, who is Muslim guide with Pak delegation, and others who took good care of them. He also extended them invitation to visit Pakistan, where they would be reciprocated, whatever they have done for Pakistanis.