Tokyo Paralympics: Haider, Anila shoulder medal hopes


“Haider Ali needs prayers. He is competing in discus throw at the Paralympics Games for the first time, so he really needs the prayers of the nation. He is in his mid-thirties, he has been a legend and a role model and this time he really needs the prayers,” says Huma Mustafa Beg, Media Director for National Paralympic Committee Pakistan, as she has witnessed the journey of the paralympians herself.

Pakistan’s high athlete Haider Ali together with Anila Izzat Baig will probably be presenting Pakistan on the Tokyo Paralympics Games, as the 2 lastly received the tickets simply two days earlier than their departure to compete on the high degree on this planet.

They left Pakistan with Fatima Imran Shami because the Chef de Mission on August 19, however Beg believes that the marketing campaign this time will probably be powerful for the athletes.

Ali managed to qualify for the discus throw occasion this time on the Paralympic Games, a primary for him, as a substitute of his standard occasion that’s the lengthy leap. But earlier than going to Tokyo, the athletes and the NPC had been unsure whether or not they would be capable to ship the gamers or not.

“We didn’t know because of the lack of funds and resources, and support from the government. There was uncertainty,” Beg instructed The Express Tribune. “Till two days in the past, we didn’t know what would occur. We solely received tickets two days earlier than their departure. There is plenty of hole in how the nation treats the Paralympics.

“While internationally Olympics and Paralympics are treated equally, in Pakistan they aren’t. In fact people don’t understand it at times too. They don’t understand that Paralympics is cut-throat competition.”

Ali has been an inspiration and a role-model for a lot of. He turned the primary Pakistani to win a medal on the Summer Paralympics Games in 2008 in Beijing, the place he received a silver medal and created a world report in lengthy leap. He then received a bronze medal in Rio within the subsequent Paralympics.

He and Anila, the latter being the surprise woman from Faisalabad, had booked their locations in Tokyo after their stellar performances in Dubai in 2019.

Ali hails from Gujranwala and he has proven to be a prolific determine, profitable worldwide medals for Pakistan, however Beg feels that for his development in his profession, there have to be extra alternatives.

Meanwhile, Anila is making her debut on the Paralympics. She was found by one other athlete, who was meant to compete for Pakistan on the Paralympics Games, however couldn’t as a result of restricted sources.

“Our athlete Mudassir spotted her and he let us know. Anila is a talented athlete and she comes from a very humble background, where her family did not have even three meals a day. However, she persevered and today she is representing Pakistan at the Paralympics Games in Tokyo,” revealed Beg. Anila will compete in class F64 and Ali will probably be competing in class F37.

Beg additionally elaborated that the battle for the paralympians is to seek out the sources in Pakistan, whereas so far as the Pakistan Government is worried they don’t seem to be supporting the NPC, although the Prime Minister of the nation has been a sports activities particular person. She added that the NPC can’t be part of Pakistan Sports Board as just like the Pakistan Olympics Association. It must be unbiased of the federal government affect.

“Our paralympians need support this time around. We are using the same kits that were used before. The government needs to sort the issue and support the NPC as we have to groom the para-athletes from across the country, but there are too many hurdles,” she mentioned. “The para-athletes have won the country so many medals and laurels, but we still do not get the same recognition for them.”

Beg, in the meantime, recalled that Ali needed to get his share of appreciation years later after his floor breaking achievement in 2008.

This time the tickets have been organized by the Provincial Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Government of Punjab Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti in urgency as each athletes are from Punjab.

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