ISLAMABAD - Sindh won both men’s and women’s netball championship gold medals in the Second Quaid-e-Azam Inter-Provincial Games held at Hamidi Hall, Pakistan Sports Complex Thursday.

In the men’s final, Sindh outplayed Punjab 20-14 while for third place play offs, KP beat Balochistan 19-13 to grab bronze medal. In the women’s final, Sindh girls had to dig very deep to edge out highly determined Punjab girls 9-7. Sindh were firm favourites to easily win the encounter but hats off to Punjab girls’, who never lost hope and put up highly fantastic fight, which was fully appreciated by the crowd. Both teams’ displayed their skills in truly professional manner but it was the vast experience of Sindh females, which paid off in the end and helped them to land the gold. For the third place match, KP beat Islamabad 12-9 to land bronze medal.

Talking to The Nation soon after the finals, Sindh men’s and women’s teams captains, Abdullah and Yushra Shoaib, showed their satisfaction over steps taken by the Pakistan Netball Federation to promote the game. Abdullah said Pakistan’s men team was doing wonders at international level as well, as they won silver medal in the recently-concluded Asian Netball Championship in Malaysia and hopefully they would win gold next time. Yushra lauded PNF President MuUdassar Arian for his matchless services to the game and helping the female players.

Football bronze for Islamabad

Islamabad were highly fortunate to win bronze medal in the men’ football event as they edged out KP 6-5 on penalty shootout. Both teams’ played out their hearts and tried to beat each other but the lady luck was smiling at Islamabad. Abdullah Shah put Islamabad in front in the first half but Javed equalised for KP in the 43rd minute. The match remained 1-1 in the normal time and Islamabad managed to score on all five penalty kicks, while KP missed the 5th, which cost them podium finish.

KP get women squash team gold

KP won the women’s team squash title after defeating Punjab in the final. It was once again golden girl Laiba Ijaz, who after winning the singles gold medal, helped KP to hammered Punjab. Laiba outclassed Tayyaba 3-0, winning 11-9, 11-8 and 11-6, Heera beat Saleha 3-0, 11-9, 11-7 and 11-9 and Neemra beat Safia 3-0, 11-7, 11-8 and 11-7.

Punjab thrash Fata for baseball gold

In baseball final, Punjab managed to win the gold after defeating Fata 12-2 in the final. It was a one-way traffic as Punjab were by far the most balanced and highly experienced side. It could have been further worse score for Fata had Punjab coach not given rest to key players in the later stages of the final.KP won bronze medal after defeating Sindh 16-3.

Snooker golds for Punjab

Punjab won both individual and team golds in snooker event. In snooker team event final, Punjab beat Sindh 3-1. The scoreline was 61-30, 64-25, 56-65, 66-27. Bronze medal went to Islamabad bronze. In singles final, Mubashir Raza of Punjab defeated Haris Nadeem of Sindh 3-1. The scoreline was 78-34, 74-6, 1-61, 109-49 for the gold medal. Amir Sohail of KP won the bronze.

Cash awards for Punjab medalists

Meanwhile, Secretary Sports Punjab, Amir Jan announced that medal-winning athletes of Punjab will be conferred with cash prizes. Talking to The Nation, Amir said the gold medal winning team will get Rs100,000, silver medalists Rs 75,000 and bronze medalists Rs 50,000 while in individual category, gold medalists Rs 50,000, silver medalists Rs 35,000 and bronze medalists Rs 25,000. This was decided in a meeting chaired by DG Punjab Sports Board Anees Sheikh, keeping in mind outstanding results shown by Punjab athletes, as Punjab had so far won a whopping 62 gold medals in the competition so far.

Foreign coaches for athletes

While talking to The Nation Athletics Federation of Pakistan President Major General (R) M Akram Sahi termed targeting Asian Games, we will invite foreign coaches to train Pakistani top athletes. He said javelin throw, triple jump and relay are the areas, where if Pakistani athletes work hard, they can bring more then desired results.

“We have decided to take part in 60m and relay races in the Asian Athletics Championship to be held in Iran. The trials for selection of athletes will be held on January 10 next year. We will also invite top junior athletes to train with seniors under the foreign coaches, while AFP had made up mind to conduct national athletics championship in March or April next year and dates and venues would be announced in next 2 to 3 weeks.”

IPC minister scouts talent

Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada was very much present at different venues to buck up athletes. He promised to look after bright future of the country in best possible fashion and also passed on directives to the federations to pick talented athletes and recommend them for foreign training. “We will try to remove minor flaws during the games and ensure next time that these mistakes must not be repeated. It is the provinces, who must bring forward talented players and we will try to enhance their funds.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi will grace the closing ceremony to be held today (Friday) at 3:00pm as chief guest.