LAHORE - Maj Gen (R) Muhammad Akram Sahi, President of the Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP), has revealed that the federation’s main focus is to secure medals at the Paris Olympics in 2024.
Muhammad Akram Sahi’s remarks came during a press conference held at a local hotel on Friday, attended by star athlete Arshad Nadeem, who clinched a silver medal in the javelin throw event at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary and others. Addressing the press briefing, the AFP President said: “Allah Almighty has bestowed upon Pakistan the greatest individual sports success in its history, marking an extraordinary achievement for the nation.”
He underscored the continuous upward trajectory of Pakistan’s athletics, asserting, “Our athletic performance is consistently ascending to new heights. “Arshad Nadeem demonstrated an exceptional performance at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, deserving the accolades and appreciation he received from our entire nation,” he added.
Reflecting on his vision for Pakistani athletics, Gen Sahi said, “In 2011, when I assumed the role of President of Athletics, I laid out the ‘2023 Vision.’ Today, our athletic prowess is being recognized on the global stage, and I aspired for the day when we proudly raise Pakistan’s flag and have our national anthem resonate worldwide. “Pakistan has achieved remarkable success at various levels, including the World Youth Games, Asia, and South Asia.” He revealed that following the Asian Games, Arshad would undergo training in Germany, with the ultimate goal of securing victory at the Paris Olympics in 2024.
“We are dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging participation in athletics. The media has consistently supported the Athletics Federation and Pakistan Athletics, paving the way for a promising future for Pakistani athletics on the international stage,” he explained.
Regarding the support structure in place, Akram Sahi assured, “We have Mohammad Yasir prepared as Arshad Nadeem’s backup, and Shajar Abbas will embark on training in Jamaica.” He underscored their commitment to pursuing medals and nurturing talents akin to Arshad Nadeem.
Taking a strong stance against doping in athletics, Gen Sahi said: “We made it unequivocally clear to our athletes before the Asian Athletics Championship that there will be zero tolerance for doping. We advocate for stricter punishments for those found guilty of doping offenses.”
Arshad Nadeem expressed gratitude for his achievements and affirmed his determination to excel at the forthcoming Asian Games. “My primary competition is with myself, and I approach it with less pressure than other athletes. “The absence of dedicated athletic stadiums nationwide is a significant hurdle. Establishing such facilities would undoubtedly nurture a host of talented athletes,” he added.
Gen Sahi concluded by highlighting their provision of world-class facilities to Arshad Nadeem and mentioning that the Pakistan Olympic Association had excluded coaches Arshad Nadim and Shajar Abbas from the national squad for the Asian Games. He emphasized the importance of unity in their relentless pursuit of athletic excellence.