KARACHI: Pakistan Karate Federation (PKF) has pinned hopes on its seasoned fighters Saadi Abbas and Baaz Mohammad for the Asian Karate Championship, which will be held in Jordan from July 10 to 15.
“We expect medals from both Saadi and Baaz in the Asian Championship,” PKF chairman Mohammad Jehangir told ‘The News’ on Tuesday.He was quick to add though that draws would count a lot. “If we get some good draws then it will boost our chances,” Jehangir said.
Pakistan will field five boys and three girls in the continental event. The team will leave for Jordan on July 10.Besides Saadi (75kg) and Baaz (84kg), Zafar Iqbal (60kg), Mohammad Kashif (55kg), Israr Ahmed (individual kata), Kulsoom (-68kg), Qurat-ul-Ain (+68kg) and Sana Kausar (-61kg) are in the Jordan-bound squad.
Saadi is a former Asian champion and has been consistently playing in the major events in international circuit. Saadi, who has returned to Pakistan after featuring in the World Karate-1 Premier League in Turkey, will join the national camp for the Asian Games and Asian Championship in Islamabad on June 20.
“I will join the camp on June 20,” Saadi told ‘The News’. In the camp 15 male and 12 female fighters will train. The PKF plans to field four boys and four girls, accompanied by three officials, in the Asian Games slated to be held in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 4.
National fighters trained for two months and a half in Lahore before the camp was stopped on May 15 by the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) because of lack of funds.The PKF has requested the PSB for providing a training tour to the national lot ahead of the Asian Games.
“We have requested the Board to give us a tour of Turkey. We want to stay there for a month and our plan is to move to Indonesia for the Asian Games from there,” Jehangir said.“We have already made arrangements for the tour but need a green signal from the PSB,” he added.