LAHORE - The Pakistan Olympics Association's executive committee Saturday approved a 36-member contingent for the Beijing Olympic Games and devised an action plan spanning a two-year period pertaining to training and coaching of players for the next South Asian Games at Dacca and the Asian Games to be held in China in 2010. Afterwards addressing a press conference, the POA president Lt Gen (Retd) Syed Arif Hasan said that Pakistan has been given wild card entries in athletics, shooting and swimming while hockey - winner of three Olympic gold and as many silver since 1956 - remained the only medal winning prospect, though on current form that too remains only a remote possibility. Gen. Arif said that the main items on immediate concern were both with regards to the Olympic Games 2008 at Beijing. One, was a review of the rather fantastic organisation of torch relay ceremony at Islamabad, second Pakistan's participation in the Games. The superbly successful holding of the Olympics torch relay had earned POA many kudos from the Chinese government, and the POA had been conveyed the appreciation of the Chinese president and its Olympic committee overnight, said Gen. Arif. Hockey's plight The POA executive, Gen. Arif said, had a detailed briefing from the Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary Khalid Mahmood on why this Pakistan's national game - once the envy of the world - has been brought to such an abysmal low. "Khalid's briefing in a nutshell shortlisted lack of basic infrastructure and owing to this the entire base has been reduced to 25 players", said Gen. Arif. That explanation seems to be rather simplistic though, for it does not account for the mismanagement in the PHF and its constituting units - and not in present dispensation but the many previous ones. Now it has come to such a pass that his words must have sounded hollow to the POA president when he said hockey 'an Olympic medal hope'. The silver lining The only point where Gen Arif really sounded upbeat was the spate of recent performances by Pakistan's juniors at the Asian level. "Our juniors have shone at the Asian level and have brought medals in Asian Indoor Games, in weightlifting, in wrestling and in wushu, on top of winning two silver medals in the World Beach Wrestling," he informed. Coming to Pakistan's participation in other events like Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune India (October 12 to 18), the POA chief said that a 21-member team would take part in four disciplines. At the Beach Games Bali, Indonesia (October 18 to 26), Pakistan's participation level would be 39 athletes. In the 2nd Islamic Solidarity Games of Tehran (Iran) Pakistan would take part in 17 disciplines while in the 11th South Asian Games at Dacca in 2009 in 19 sports. The participation in the 16th Asian Games at Guanzhou, China in 2010 would be dependent on performances over the next two years, said he. On the model constitution of the POA, he said that the federations have been given another month to file their retribution if any with the constitution committee head Khawaja Farooq Saeed, a POA vice-president. Gen Arif further informed that president of the Pakistan Baseball Federation, Shaukat Javed has been appointed the vice-president of the association. Main thrust The main thrust of the committee meeting was the two-year planning for the training and coaching of the athletes for participation in the Asian Games and to raise resources to prepare well. "The POA would be going to Pakistan Sports Board and the sports ministry with definite plans for each sport. "The Pakistan Sports Trust has been generating revenue streams for a number of federations by helping them market their events so that they are not just able to bring international events to Pakistan but also make some money in the bargain", said he. He further informed that the executive committee now has two newly-installed sports minister in the NWFP and Sindh - Syed Aqil Shah and Dr Muhammad Ali Shah respectively. "This is likely enhance government's support to our programmes in these two provinces", said he.