Gen Sahi sets sights on medal triumphs at Paris Olympics

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.

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