ISLAMABAD    -     Top Korean taekwondo coach Master Han has said that Pakistani taekwondo players are technically and physically very sound and they are capable of winning international medals for the country.

Master Han was conducting a training session at Pakistan Sports Complex bio-mechanical lab, where Pakistan Tekwondo Federation (PTWF) President Lt Col (R) Wasim Ahmed Janjua and female player Najia Khan were also present. The Korean coach told The Nation that he had been training top Korean players for last several years. “I have never witnessed such a person in my entire life, who is so dedicated and sincere with the game and athletes.

“This is the result of Col Wasim’s efforts that taekwondo is gaining massive popularity in Pakistan. The local athletes are capable enough of doing wonders at any given stage but they lack in exposure and badly need to improve minor flaws in their techniques. They also need to pay huge attention towards nutrition, as they don’t know what they require after going through tough training,” he added.

Master Han said he left for 33rd National Games, where he witnessed some of the best talented athletes available to the PTWF. “But even the gold medal winners have huge flaws in their techniques but I am working on their training and improving their mistakes. We have arranged a one-week camp at Abbottabad, which proved very beneficial for our players. We moved to Islamabad last night and since then, we didn’t take rest and started our training.

“I know we have very short time left in the 13th South Asian Games in Nepal, but hopefully, we will be able to prepare our athletes well for the mega event. I will accompany strong Pakistani contingent. As far as security issues are concerned, I call Pakistan my home and here I feel like I am in Korea. I am in love with hospitality, love and respect of Pakistani people. The foreigners must come and enjoy the matchless love, respect and hospitality of Pakistanis,” he asserted.

The Korean coach said that his basic target is 2024 Olympics. “If I train Pakistani athletes for next two years, they can make waves in any given event. As far as taekwondo in India, Nepal and Pakistan is concerned, they are not as advance as other top taekwondo playing nations, but here in Pakistan, work is going on war footings. People like Col Wasim can help taekwondo flourish rapidly in the country. I am sure, Pakistan team will produce desired results in Nepal,” the coach concluded.

Sharing his views, PTWF President Lt Col (R) Wasim Ahmed said: “I am grateful to Umar Saeed and our Patron Gen Javed Iqbal Ramdey for helping us in holding the camp at Abbottabad and they are also helping us in paying around expenditures of 20 persons of our contingent, which will take part in Nepal SAG. Master Han is selecting the team and he will monitor players’ performance. We are working very hard to win more gold medals in Nepal. Haroon is our main hope as he left for 12-day training in Korea last night and he will join Pakistani contingent on November 30 in Nepal.

“Last night, we were given confirmation of 16 athletes and two officials for the SAG, while we are taking 26 players and total 35. The federation will bear expenses of 19 additional persons. Off course for next five days, our athletes will feel cramps and they need to prepare their bodies for the mega event in Nepal,” he added.

“I am thankful to IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza for helping us in holding the camp at the PSB. I have deposited $5,000 for G1 event next year. I have requested the PSB and IPC to provide us with latest equipment, which will be a great help for taekwondo players and the federation and will also brighten Pak athletes’ chances of winning medals at international level in front of home crowd. I am sure the IPC Minister will help us in getting latest equipment to improve our results,” Wasim concluded.