2014 Commonwealth Games: Pakistan face mixed fortunes in campaign opener

Friday, July 25th, 2014 1:19:14 by



KARACHI: 

Pakistan swimmers got off to a good start at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games on the opening day on Thursday, while the country’s lawn bowls’ trio witnessed contrasting fortunes.

In the 400m men’s freestyle event, Israr Hussain claimed third position as Sikandar Khan and Hairs Bandey took fifth and seventh spots respectively in the men’s 50m butterfly category.

The women’s side saw Lianna Swan clinch third position in the 50m breaststroke event, which also included Anum Bandey who finished seventh, while Pakistan’s number one swimmer Kiran Khan stood at fifth and Areeba Sheikh at seventh in 100m Butterfly category.

The country’s lawn bowls’ trio comprising Mohammad Qureshi, Maqsood Khan and Muzahir Shan failed to show form against Australia’s Matt Falpper, Wayne Ruediger, and Nathan Rice in the first round of the men’s triple competition.

Australia succeeded to strike 19 shots and 10 ends, while Pakistan finished with 12 shots and eight ends.

Friday will see Pakistan’s lawn bowls’ triad take on England’s Jhon McGuinness, Suart Airey and Jamie Chestney in the following round of the same event.

The day will also challenge Pakistan shooters Tanzeem Akhtar Abbasi, Mehwish Farhan, Usman Chand, Zeeshan Farid, while Nisar Ahmed and Israr Hussain will participate in the men’s 200m freestyle category.

England’s Farah out of Games

The Games were dealt a huge blow on Thursday when England’s double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah announced he was withdrawing due to fitness concerns.

Farah, alongside Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt, is one of the most recognisable faces of track and field, and his absence will be sorely missed.

“There’s no question that we’re disappointed,” admitted David Grevemberg, the chief executive of Glasgow 2014.

“Certainly there’ll be some disappointed people, but there are plenty of great athletes that are coming and are here. We’re looking forward to welcoming people to some great competition over the next few days and when the athletics kicks off on Sunday.”

Farah, the 5,000 and 10,000 metres Olympic and world champion, was recently laid low by illness and has decided to pull out of the Commonwealths to work on his fitness ahead of next month’s European Championships in Zurich.

“I have taken the tough decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games,” said Farah, 31, in a statement released by Team England.

“I really wanted to add the Commonwealth titles to my Olympic and World Championships, but the event is coming a few weeks too soon for me as my body is telling me it’s not ready to race yet. Best wishes to my fellow athletes in Glasgow.”

Meanwhile, England’s Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon gold at the Games, the first medal of the multi-sport event.

Stimpson, a silver medal winner in the World Triathlon Series in 2013, sprinted clear with 400m remaining of the final 10km run to win a thrilling race that started with a 1.5km swim in and a 40km cycle around Strathclyde Loch.

Canada’s Kirsten Sweetland claimed silver, with England’s Vicky Holland taking bronze.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2014.

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