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China to assist Pak’s sports uplift

GUANGZHOU: Pakistan hopes China will help accelerate its transformation from a sporting minnow to another Asian dragon. “We need help in almost all sports, especially swimming and track and field. We have so much to learn from China,” Syed Arif Hasan, president of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), said in a media interview here.
“Without a doubt, China is a sporting giant in Asia and the world, and its help is crucial to the development of sports in Pakistan.”
China has sent some of its best table tennis, swimming and wushu coaches to Pakistan, which has already reaped the rewards at the Asiad, courtesy of Ijaz Ahmed’s silver medal in the men’s sanshou 75 kg.
Arif Hasan said he wants to go one better and put his athletes in a Chinese training environment that extends beyond the vision of a handful of imported coaches. “I’d like China to give our athletes opportunities to train and compete in China with local Chinese athletes, which is something that would definitely help us improve,” he said, adding that he plans to write a letter to that effect to Liu Peng, president of the China Olympic Association. In return, Pakistan could help China’s cricket and field hockey teams, he said.
Unlike China, which derives great patriotic pride from its athletes’ sporting success, Pakistan has a low budget for sports and sports infrastructure.-PPI


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