Pakistani players once again return empty handed from Olympic games

 Pakistan has failed to won a medal in Olympics since 1992 Barcelona olympics

Pakistani athletes return from Tokyo olympics empty handed. Although, Arshad Nadeem made history when he qualified for the final round of  Javelin Throw. he became first Pakistani athlete to compete for medal in Olympics. He finished at fifth position and narrowly missed the medal. Pakistani weightlifter Talha Talib  also narrowly missed the bronze medal.
Both players made brilliant individual efforts to win a medal for Pakistan. both have shown the potential that existed in Pakistan for developing world class athletes. But the sports bodies, associations and government sports departments lacks commitment, efforts and plan to develop sports in the country.
 Players made their individual efforts to achieve something. Hockey is the best example that how we ignore our sports. Hockey is our national sport but we failed to qualify for the Olympics second time in a row. Honestly speaking, Pakistani sports are in decline. 

We have no plan to develop and groom our players. It is sad to see that country of 220 million people could only send 10 players to Olympic games. We need a short and long term plan to develop sports in Pakistan. A five year action plan is needed to encourage young people to play sports. 
Pakistani players can make progress in boxing, football, hockey, squash, volleyball and some other sports. But we need plan, plan, strategy and vision to groom players. Yes, cricket is our popular sport. But it doesn't mean we should ignore the other sports. 
The factor that our prime minister is a sportsman makes it even more painful. No concrete steps  and policy measures being taken in last three years of PTI rule to promote sports.   
 Olympics is the largest sports event in the world. Athletes prepare for the Olympic medal  for years. But in Pakistan, we started to find players few months before the games. 

Arshad’s and Talha’s performances showed that Pakistan has improved since the 2016 Rio Olympics. But that cannot be put down to any encouragement from Prime Minister Imran Khan, although as a former sportsman he is well aware of the serious deficiencies that beset the sports sector. Arshad and Talha had raised our hopes purely because of their own talent and struggle, with a little help from their respective federations.

The countdown to Paris begins now. If Arshad and Talha are to improve on their performances in 2024 and win the Olympic medals Pakistan has been longing for, the work must start now. It must be understood that the Olympics define a stage where those who have been the best or close to the best come out on top.


That only happens when there is a system in place — at every level. Sports have regressed in Pakistan, the Tokyo Olympics marking the second successive Games for which the national hockey team — the winner of eight of the country’s 10 Olympic medals — hasn’t been able to qualify.

 Even in non-Olympic sports like cricket and squash, where Pakistan once used to dominate, performances have deteriorated. Differences between the government, the sports federations and the Olympic Association don’t help and the devolution of sports to the provinces in accordance with the 18th Amendment has created hurdles of its own, leaving only limited powers to the Pakistan Sports Board.

It is necessary for  the prime minister to call a meeting of all stakeholders immediately and devise a way forward and work towards building a sports culture in the country. It is about creating an environment to facilitate access to sports. 

Renovation and development of sports facilities is the first step towards that, one that will help grassroots programmes to flourish. Most importantly, schools must align themselves with the government plan and allocate sufficient time and resources to physical fitness and sports activities. 

It has to be a multi-tiered structure that propels the talented ones to colleges and universities up to the national level where federations, ideally run by sports professionals, will take them to the next level. A thriving sports culture would not only provide a broader base of athletes but also increase competition and representation, leading to greater chances of winning medals at global events.

Pakistan needs a strong sports culture to find and develop players.Sports helps to build a soft image of a country. Pakistan Olympic Association, Pakistan Sports Board, different federations and provincial sports departments need to work together to develop at least 50 players who could qualify for the Paris Olympics 2024. Let's prepare a plan and devise a strategy for next four years.  
                                                              The Editor  

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