Pakistan face Mehmood’s casualty in Asian boxing qualifiers

From our correspondent

KARACHI: Pakistan on Tuesday faced the first casualty when their experienced boxer Mehmood-ul-Hasan lost to China’s Tuoheta Erbieke Tanglatihan in the 75 kilogramme preliminaries of the Asia and Oceania Qualifying round for 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Jordan.At the Prince Hamza Hall Al-Hussein Youth City Amman, Mehmood failed to live up to the billing, going 30-27 down against the Chinese fighter.On Wednesday (today) Pakistan’s Syed Mohammad Asif will meet Indonesia’s Suguro Aldoms in the men’s flyweight (52kg) preliminaries.In this weight as many as 20 pugilists are featuring. Asif is confident,saying he has worked hard.”Yes I am upbeat about my succes as I have trained hard,” Asif told this correspondent from Jordan on Tuesday.In the welterweight (69kg) Pakistan’s Gul Zeb has got bye in the first round. He will now face China’s Maimaititu Ersun Qiong in the pre-quarter-final on March 6.Due to lack of resources Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) could only field three boxers in the qualifiers. The government did not back national fighters for the vital assignment. So far not a single athlete has been backed by the state in his Olympic journey. National boxers underwent a couple of months training at the Army Sports Complex Rawalpindi with the PBF bearing all the expenses.Pakistan last featured in the 2004 Athens Olympics in boxing and this is very important event for the Green-shirts to click in.Pakistan also will have another chance of pressing for Olympics when they will field their boxers in the World Qualifying round to be held in Paris from May 13 to 20 at the Grand Dome, Villebon-sur-Yvette. It will be open only to those athletes who have not yet qualified.In Jordan’s event men are competing in eight and women are featuring in five weight categories. Oceania nations including Australia and New Zealand are also part of the qualifiers.India has fielded its full-strength (8 men and 5 women). They underwent a six-month training in Italy before proceeding to Jordan.The continental qualifiers were, earlier, scheduled to be held in China’s city Wuhan from February 3-14 but were postponed and later shifted to Amman due to outbreak of the deadly coronavirus which besides other matters has also unsettled the sports world.