Pak athletics squad to feature in Imam Reza Cup in Iran
ISLAMABAD -A seven-member Pakistan athletics squad will travel to Iran by the end of ongoing month to compete in the 2nd Imam Reza Cup, slated to be held in Mashhad from May 29 to 30. “We’ve selected a bunch of highly talented athletes to represent the country in Imam Reza Cup. This is a key competition in the build-up of our athletes to the World Athletics Championships and other important upcoming international events,” Maj Gen (R) Muhammad Akram Sahi, President of Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) told APP on Saturday. Those scheduled to fly Iran on May 28 to feature in different categories of the competition include Shajar Abbas (100m & 200m), Abdul Mueed (200m & 400m), Sharoz Khan (high jump), Kashif Majeed (long jump) and Muhammad Yasir (javelin throw). Two coaches Qazi Tanveer Hussain and Rana Sajjad Ahmad Khan will also accompany the athletes. Sahi said that Imam Reza Cup would bring a great competition atmosphere, giving a much-needed exposure to Pakistani athletes. “This is a World Athletics-approved tournament. This is the same event where our javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem had improved his personal best from 86.29 metres to 86.38 metres before featuring in Tokyo Olympics 2020. Hence, we believe that keeping in view the other upcoming international events, this tournament will help us a lot to gauge our athletes’ strong as well as weak areas” he added. According to Sahi, Pakistan’s top javelin thrower Olympian Arshad Nadeem and another bright prospect Muhammad Yasir, who are getting training in South Africa at the Northwest University in Potchefstroom under the guidance of the world-acclaimed javelin coach Terseus Leibenburg will be flying back to the country on Tuesday to apply for US visas for participation in the World Athletics Championships, penciled in for July 15-24 in Oregon. The national athletes will also compete in other major international events, including the Birmingham Commonwealth Games (CWG), scheduled to be held from July 28 to August 8 and the Islamic Solidarity Games (ISG), to be staged from August 9 to 18 at Konya, Turkey.