Pakistan’s Olympics dream knocked out

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KARACHI: Pakistan’s hopes of getting a direct place in Rio Olympics are almost over as four of the five boxers that traveled to Baku, Azerbaijan for the Olympic qualifiers, failed to win their opening bouts.

The only boxer that is still in the scenario for a place in Rio Olympics is Tanveer Ahmed in 75 kg category, who has to face Korea’s Dongyun Lee in the second round of the qualifiers.

Other than him, Naimatullah (56kg), Ahmed Ali (60kg), Syed Asif (52kg) and Awais Ali (81kg) all lost their first fights of the tournament after getting byes in the first round.

Pakistan Boxing Federation’s Secretary, Iqbal Hussain talked to Express Tribune and said, “It has been far from a good run with four of our five boxers out of the competition now,” he added, “It’s definitely not what we wanted.”

The national boxers weren’t trained well, they were not sent abroad for preparations, the deal with a Cuban boxing coach couldn’t get through and the local coach didn’t do a satisfying job.

Iqbal Hussain admitted that the federation is the one that is at fault for not providing good enough resources to the boxers, “We couldn’t send the boxers abroad to train. I know this is our fault. We’ve just wasted our four years and it hurts.”

He further accepted the fact that their opponents were far better trained, “Four of our boxers lost because their opponents were better in the ring, they trained better than we did and their form was better than ours.”

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