October 30, 2008

Pakistan Sports Trusts’s investment on juniors starts yielding results


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Pakistan’s medal winning performance in the recently held 3rd Commonwealth Youth Games in the Indian town of Pune has gladdened the hearts of the people once more. The performance of the young wrestlers deserves to be lauded.

The Pakistan Sports Trust (PST), having invested heavily on the youth development programmes eversince its inception, also deserves special mention on the success of the country’s wrestlers in the Commonwealth Youth Games.

It was the PST who sponsored their training in Iran for over a month and they have produced the results. Their success has indeed proved the point that their investment in youth is paying off. It has also highlighted the fact that if the resources are provided, results could be produced.

General Syed Arif Hasan, Chairman, PST, and President, Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), should be a very happy and relieved man with the results of the Commonwealth Youth Games. Time and again he has proved himself a man of outstanding qualities. His leadership holds the key to the revival of sports in the country.

He and his team must be extended the heartiest congratulations on Pakistan's medals winning performance in the Commonwealth Youth Games. The decision to sponsor their training in Iran for over a month has paid off and yielded results.

More importantly their theory of emphasizing on youth has been proved right once more. The PST has been doing a fabulous job by investing in youth and the results can only be accomplished if the funds are made available to them.

Pakistan’s wrestlers won a couple of silver medals and one bronze medal in the Commonwealth Youth Games. The silver medallists were Salamat Ali (42 Kg) and Haider Ali (46 Kg) whereas Muhammad Shoukat Mushtaq (54 Kg) claimed bronze medal.
The 24-member Pakistan contingent took part in five disciplines wrestling, athletics, swimming, table tennis and weightlifting.

Meanwhile hosts India shed their tag of poor performers at Olympic sports and pulled off a major upset at the Commonwealth Youth Games that concluded in Pune on October 18 by topping the standings with an impressive haul of 76 medals.

India betterd their last edition’s medals tally by leaps and bounds wrapping up the seven-day extravaganza with 33 gold, 26 silver and 17 bronze. In the previous edition of the Games at Bendigo four years ago, India could lay their hands on only 10 medals (two gold, four silver and four bronze medals) to settle for a poor eighth place finish.

Last edition’s champions Australia finished on the second spot with 24 gold, 19 silver and 22 bronze, while England with 18 gold, nine silver and 14 bronze secured the third spot.

Shootingfetched the hosts six gold and three bronze medals. The Indian athletes were a revelation finishing with six golds, seven silver and six bronze medals. In athletics, India, as a matter of fact, finished second behind England who topped with seven gold, three silver and three bronze. The Australians with five golds, six silvers and eight golds finished on third place.

The Beijing effect was clearly visible in wrestling where India made a clean sweep claiming all the seven golds up for grabs. The Boxers also sizzled in the ring with three gold, one silver and one bronze. One of the gold medals was bagged by Beijing bronze medalist Vijender Singh’s brother Balwinder Beniwal.

This was the third Commonwealth Youth Games in the series but it was for the first time that all 71 Commonwealth countries participated in this event that was also considered as rehearsal to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. The next edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games will be hosted by the Isle of Man in 2011.


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