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62-Member Squad Heads to Commonwealth Games

by AFP
Pakistan at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India. Indranil Mukherjee—AFP

Pakistan at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India. Indranil Mukherjee—AFP

This will be Pakistan’s 12th time at the tournament, with athletes participating in eight sports.

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday said a group of athletes picked to participate in next week’s Commonwealth Games are free to attend the event following a long-standing tussle between two rival factions of the Pakistan Olympic Association.

The government reversed its backing to a faction opposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last week, paving the way for Friday’s court order. “A 62-member squad will leave for Scotland to feature in the Commonwealth Games on Monday and we got a final go ahead,” Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Director General Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera told media.

The 20th Commonwealth Games are scheduled from July 23 to Aug. 3 in Glasgow, Scotland. Pakistan will participate in eight sports—badminton, boxing, gymnastics, shooting, swimming, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.

Pakistan has competed in 11 of the 19 previous Commonwealth Games, from 1954. Its most successful Games have been the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, where it was 4th in the overall rankings by winning eight gold medals. Pakistan’s most successful sport in the Games has been wrestling where they won 37 medals, 20 of which have been gold.

Pakistan won two gold medals in wrestling, one silver—also in wrestling—and two bronze medals in boxing at the last Games held in New Delhi in 2010.

Field Hockey, Pakistan’s national game, will be missing in this Games as the country’s federation failed to send its entry in time because of the ongoing tussle between the factions of the POA.

Pakistan’s main hopes will again be on wrestlers Azhar Hussain and Muhammad Inam. Hussain won a gold and a silver while Inam won a gold in New Delhi.

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