KARACHI:  - Pakistani athletes ended their Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 campaign with 16 medals in Austria.

The closing ceremony of the Games took place on Saturday, while the Pakistan squad will be returning home today (Sunday).

Pakistan won three gold medals: Huzaifa bagged the first in the 200m snowshoeing race, Sabahat Tariq the second in the 100m race, while Pakistan’s girls’ team took the top position in 4×100 relay race to claim the third gold for Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Pakistan also claimed seven silver medals, with two each won by Fatima Amir and Pervez Ahmed, and six bronze medals. Pakistan were fielding 12 athletes including Huzaifa, Muhammad Hamza Aslam, Hameezuddin, Usama Aziz, Muhammad Abdullah, Pervez, Sabahat, Fatima, Farah Ehsan, Mehwish Tufail, Rimsha Naeem and Tehmeena.

Eight athletes competed in the snowshoeing events, while four participated in cross-country skiing.

The athletes were picked from all over the country, with three from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, two from Abbottabad, three from Gilgit-Baltistan, and one each from Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and Murree. According to the SOP officials, they spent a year preparing for the event and held an overall six training camps, including a vigorous training session in Naltar, with the Ski Federation of Pakistan’s help.

Meanwhile, according to the chief of the delegation Aneesur Rehman, the athletes enjoyed their stay in Austria and competed with a very high spirit.

This was the second time that Pakistan competed in the World Winter Games.


Cricket franchise Peshawar Zalmi's owner, Javed Afridi, announced a cash award for Pakistanis who won medals at the Special Olympics World Winter Games. Afridi said in a tweet the Peshawar Zalmi Foundation will give away a prize of Rs100,000 to each Pakistani medallist. Afridi, whose Zalmi franchise were last month crowned winners of the second edition of the Pakistan Super League, termed the medallists "national heroes".