ISLAMABAD-Golden boy Talha Talib vowed to win Islamic Solidarity Games weightlifting gold medal for Pakistan in -62kg weight category.

In an interview with The Nation, 17-year-old Talha, who had won medals at national and international levels, said: “My father M Islam Natiq was national champion in +105 weight category and I always wanted to represent country and win medals for it, which my father couldn’t win. Due to his buck and all-out support, I took weightlifting as a profession. Right now I am training at national camp under coaches M Ilyas Butt and Ali Aslam.

“We have been provided best coaching and facilities at Pakistan Sports Board. But the equipment is not only highly outdated but also very short to the requirements. We have only one complete set of training equipment of international standard, that’s why have to train with local equipment, which is not even close to ordinary one. If we want to win medal in the Islamic Solidarity Games, we must be provided with international-standard equipment,” he added.

Talha termed wining gold medal for Pakistan at international level was his main aim for which he was training hard. “I request Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to pay attention towards weightlifting as well, as we are genuine medal hopes of the country, and if we are treated well and provided with latest facilities and coaching and training abroad, we can win laurels for Pakistan globally. The private sector should play their role in this noble cause.”

National coach Ilyas Butt said Talha and other athletes were more than capable of winning laurels for the country. “There is just a need of providing with latest equipment which can produce wonders at any given stage. These youngsters have talent, passion and keenness to excel at international level, but what they just need is government’s and sports authorities proper attention and patronage, which can encourage them to win more and more medals for Pakistan internationally.”