Maaz Khan is a Pakistani Wushu athlete who overcame Indian Mukesh Choudhry in the 70kg final in South Asian Games and bagged gold medal for his country. Khan has several titles under his name, he also won a bronze medal in kick-boxing, silver medal in international Paras Cup, bronze medal in Islamic Solidarity games, and holding the title of 10-time national champion.
Even before, he has shown his field competence in Wushu by bagging a number of medals in both national and international events.
Despite having dozens of medals, Khan sadly couldn’t participate in Wushu World Championships held in Kazan, Russia due to lack of financial support by the Government.
Maaz lives in a joint family with his wife, two kids, parents, and siblings. He got married when he was only fifteen.
Talking exclusively with ARY, Maaz shared his journey which made him the national champion, he said, “I’ve been playing Wushu since 1997, comparatively Wushu is a difficult sport from others” he said.
“In the beginning of my career I faced lots of hurdles as my parents didn’t support me, they thought that it has no future but later on when I started winning the titles they got convinced” he added.
During SAF games, the national wushu fighter had a serious injury (leg abscess) in his left leg, the doctors didn’t allow him to continue with the injury but his enthusiasm urged him to fight against the Indian athlete.
Khan’s victory against the arch-rivals made the nation proud and he was very satisfied with beating the host country’s opponent on his own turf.
Maaz said, “We train ourselves on broken floors if the Government will properly support us we can be the World Champion,” he said.
The 14th World Wushu Championships was the official world championship event hosted by the International Wushu Federation, but unfortunately, none of the Pakistani athletes participated in the event.
Khan said, “It was my dream to represent Pakistan in the World Championship, I and my team felt so dishearted that we couldn’t participate in the event because of the paucity of funds”, Khan added.
There is an abundance of talented athletes who could never make it to the big stage just because they could not afford sporting goods. Or even those who gave up because they could not make a respectable earning out of pursuing sports in Pakistan.
It’s about the time that the government brings in funding and supports our athletes to make our domestic level more competitive.