Medals rain down on Pakistani rowers

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 11:49:42 by



KARACHI: 

Pakistani rowers achieved 12 medals, including two golds in the women’s scull competition at the South East Asian Rowing Championship in Singapore on Saturday.

The Karachi Boat Club (KBC) team, featuring junior rowers from the Karachi Grammar School and the Center of Advanced Studies (CAS), made a significant impact in the international club and the inter-school events in the championship.

CAS’ Mina Haris won the gold in the women’s single scull, outpacing Malaysian competitors, while Anaya Atiq and Khadija Hashim bagged another gold in the women’s double scull competition.

“This is my first international gold medal, so it’s very special,” Mina told The Express Tribune. “I competed in the inter-school competition in Dubai as well, earlier this year, but this was a different experience.”

Mina said that the entire team worked hard for the competition.

“We trained really hard and I’m glad it paid off. I thank my coaches and my parents, because I remember there were days when my parents encouraged me when I had no motivation to train.”

Meanwhile, Asghar Ali, the coach for the 26-member team, said that he is extremely proud of the young rowers’ achievement.

“I’m full of pride at the moment,” said Ali. “These children have given amazing performances. We trained every single day for three months; it shows how dedicated these rowers are.

“Although they belong to the U14 and U16 age group, but they won medals in the U18 category. I’m ecstatic about that.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan secured two silvers through KGS’ Agha Shuja and Adil Belgaumi in the junior men’s double scull, and two silvers were grabbed by CAS’ Stephanie Felix and Molina Saadi Arfeen in the women’s double scull.

“It’s a great feeling to win. We only lost to Indonesia, but I feel positive about my performance,” said Shuja. “We had worked hard for it; being at the KBC for training every morning was not easy.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan Rowing Federation official Abdul Rahim Babai said that the athletes have performed better than expected of them.

“I wasn’t expecting such an achievement from our junior rowers,” said Babai. “We couldn’t send our more experienced rowers because of their exams, but these young guns have proven themselves.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2014.

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