ISLAMABAD - Nargis Hazara has attributed her Asian Games bronze medal victory to entire Pakistani nation and termed it as a gift of Eidul Azha.

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Talking to The Nation from Jakarta, Nargis said: “It was like dream come true for me as I won the first-ever bronze medal in karate for Pakistan in the Asian Games in +68kg weight category. I was aiming for gold, as I had earlier promised that I would try my best to win gold, but a few minor mistakes cost me dearly and I had to settle for bronze medal.

“I was brimming with confidence, ever since I was selected to represent the country for the Asian Games karate. I had no doubts about my abilities and was pretty confident about my chances in the Games, but the level of the participating athletes is completely different to what I was expecting. I had gone through tough training under my coach, which helped me a lot but truly speaking, I failed to fulfill my dream of winning gold in Jakarta.

“But besides bronze, one more thing I have got from this event is much-needed international exposure and also learnt a lot from my opponents as well as from my mistakes. I am only 19 and have enough time to prepare well for the upcoming mega international events and win glories for my country. I will land in Lahore on August 28 and then will go straight to my home in Quetta. After a few days break, I will once again start training in the camp,” she added.

She said both her opponents in the final stages were world’s best karatekas, that’s why she couldn’t win the gold. “The Japanese girl, who won the gold medal was world number 1 in our weight category and against the Chinese girl, whom I lost the fight, was among world’s top 10. If is for the first time I started playing at seniors level, where lack of experience cost me gold medal.”

Nargis said Pakistan is blessed with immense amount of talent in every sports, but the need of the hour is to provide them with international facilities and training, so that they may win laurels for the country at international level. “The training under best national international coaches, maximum international exposure and proper patronage under government, PSB and the relevant federations can help our players win international medals,” she concluded.