(Updated results post, here).
Olympic Games start in Beijing tomorrow. This year, Pakistan has sent a 21-players plus 16-officials = 37 member contingent to take part in 4 sports viz. Athletics, Men’s Hockey, Swimming and Shooting. Pakistan qualified to play in Hockey where as entry to rest of the three sports has been on the basis of ‘wild-cards’.
Pakistan’s chances of winning major medals at Beijing are slim to none, but that was not always so. Plus, this is the Olympics and one can always hope for a surprise. Sometimes you can even get it!
As of 2008 Pakistan is the 6th most populous country in the World but the Olympic medal tally of Pakistan has remained dismal to say the least. In fifteen Olympic Games since 1948, Pakistan has won a total of 10 medals only – 3 Gold, 3 Silver and 4 Bronze. Pakistan has not been able to win a single Olympic medal medal since 1992.
While many reasons could be attributed to this dearth of medals, one major argument is that the sports in which Pakistan excels (or has excelled in the past) are not part of the Olympics. e.g. Cricket, Squash and Snooker. Other arguments can be lack of sports infrastructure or when people are struggling to make ends meet who cares for sports etc.
Men’s hockey is the only sport where there has been a national interest and it also shows in medal tally. Eight out of 10 Olympic medals of Pakistan were achieved in Men’s Hockey.
So what are the chances of Pakistan of doing better in 2008 olympics. Once again, 16-member men’s hockey team is our best chance.
The Pakistani contingent for Olympics consists of following people:
Players: Zeeshan Ashraf (captain), Muhammad Imran (Vice Captain), Muhammad Javed, Muhammad Saqlain, Salman Akbar, Adnan Maqsood, Muhammad Waqas, Waqas Akbar, Shakeel Abbasi, Rehan Butt, Syed Abbas Haider Bilgrami, Nasir Ahmed, Syed Imran Ali Warsi, Muhammad Asif Rana, Muhammad Zubair, and Shafqat Rasool
Officials: Zakauddin (manager-cum-coach), Naveed Alam (coach), Faizur Rahman (physio) and Nadeem Ahmed Lodhi (video -analyst)
Players: Abdul Rasheed and Sadaf Siddiqui
Officical: Haji Khalid Mehmood (manager)
Sadaf Siddiqui ran in 100m sprint on August 16, 2008 and finished seventh out of 8 contestants. Following is the APP news feed for her race.
Pakistanâ€™s Sadaf Siddiqui finished seventh in the women 100-meter sprint at the imposing National Stadium (Birdâ€™s Nest) on Saturday.
Sadaf from Lahore, who turns 23 on August 27 running in lane five, with 2552 chest number, clocked 12.41 seconds to secure second last spot in eight women field. She, however, failed to improve her personal best of 11.84 seconds.
â€œIts great feeling to run alongside the best in the field. Itâ€™s greatest occasion for any athlete to feature in the Olympics and I had my dream coming true today,â€ she said after the race adding that she was greatly overwhelmed by the occasion.
The race was twice halted after runners came out of their blocks early in an anxiety.
32-year-old veteran Christine Aaron of France clocked 11.37 seconds to get the first position while Lauryn Williams (US) stood second with 11.39 seconds and Tehsia Harrigan from British Virgin Islands was third. All top three qualified for the next heat. Pakistanâ€™s 110-meter hurdler Abdul Rashid will be in action in the heats on Sunday. Following is the result.
1. Christine Aaron (France) 11.37 sec
2. Lauryn Williams (USA) 11.38
3. Tahesia Harrigan (Virgin Islands) 11.46 sec
4. Lucimer de Moura (Brazil) 11.60 sec
5. Sherry Fletcher (Grenada) 11.65 sec
6. Dana Abdul Razak (Iraq) 12.36 sec
7. Sadaf Siddiqui (Pakistan) 12.41 sec
8. Asenate Manoa (Tuvalu) 14.05 sec
Players: Adil Baig and Kiran Khan
Officials: Major Majid Waseem (manager) and Venna Masood (women’s coach)
Player: Umar Siddique
Official: Khalid Javed (Manager)
The final rank of Umar Siddique in Beijing Olympic came out to be 48th out of 51 competitors. He competed in 10m air rifle competition. Following is the APP news story on his final standing.
Pakistan’s lone marksman Siddique Umer finished 48th in the 10-metre Air Rifle Shooting event of Olympics at the Beijing Shooting Range on Monday.
Siddique collected 578 points following rounds of 97, 94, 98, 96, 98 and 96 in the field of 51 shooters who featured in the qualification round.
The 26-year-old, featuring in his first Olympics, fired fine first, third and fourth rounds in which he mustered 98 points. However, he was not impressive in the other three rounds otherwise he could have finished among top 20.
Siddique finished just above Benjamin Burge (Australia), Hernandez Martinez (Nicaragua) and Saso Mestorov (Macedonia).
Muhammad Aqil Shah (chef-de-mission), Dr. Waqar Ahmed (doctor), Brig Saleem Nawaz (secretary), Muhammad Akhtar Nawaz Gungeera (finance secretary), Captain (retd.) Zafar Iqbal Awan (security official).
Men’s Field Hockey Pools:
Pakistan is in Pool B according to draws of Men’s Field Hockey. Rest of the teams are divided as follows:
Pool A: Belgium, China, Germany, Korea, NewZealand and Spain
Pool B: Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Netherlands, Pakistan and South Africa
Pakistan’s Hockey Schedule:
Match One: vs Great Britain on Aug 11, 2008 – 1030 hours China Standard Time: Great Britain 4 Pakistan 2
Match Two: vs Canada on Aug 13, 2008 – 1800 hours China Standard Time: Pakistan 3 Canada 1
Match Three: vs Australia on Aug 15, 2008 – 1830 hours China Standard Time: Australia 2 Pakistan 1
Match Four: vs South Africa on Aug 17, 2008 – 1800 hours China Standard Time: Pakistan 3 Soth Africa 1
Match Five: vs Netherlands on Aug 19, 2008 – 0830 hours China Standard Time: Netherlands 4 Pakistan 2
Final pool B rankings in which Pakistan was also placed are given to the right. Pakistan finished 4th in their pool. Netherlands and Australia make it to Semi finals from pool B.
9th and 10th position match between Belgium and Canada on Aug 21, 2008 – 0830 hours China Standard Time: Beligum 2 Canada 1
7th and 8th position match between Pakistan and New Zealand on Aug 21, 2008 – 1100 hours China Standard Time: New Zealand 4 Pakistan 2
Pakistan thus finished 8th in the olympic hockey.
1st Semi Final: Netherlands vs Germany on Aug 21, 2008, – 1800 hours China Standard Time: Germany 4 Netherlands 3
2nd Semi Final: Spain va Australia on Aug 21, 2008, – 2030 hours China Standard Time: Spain 3 Australia 2
11th and 12th position match on Aug 23, 2008 – 0830 hours China Standard Time: China 4 South Africa 3
5th and 6th position match on Aug 23, 2008 – 1100 hours China Standard Time: Great Britain 5 South Korea 2
Bronze medal match on Aug 23, 2008 – 1800 hours China Standard Time: Australia 6 Netherlands 2
The Final on Aug 23, 2008 – 2030 hours China Standard Time: Germany 1 Spain 0
Final Hockey Standing’s in Men’s Field Hockey
5. Great Britain
6. South Korea
7. New Zealand
12. South Africa
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