National grapplers to leave for India on Thursday

From our correspondent
KARACHI: A four-member Pakistan’s wrestling squad, carrying three wrestlers and a coach, will leave for New Delhi on Thursday (tomorrow) to feature in the Asian Wrestling Championships which started in India’s capital on Tuesday.
The squad includes Mohammad Bilal (61kg), Tayyab Raza (97kg) and Zaman Anwar (125kg).
Sohail Rasheed will accompany as coach cum manager.
Pakistani grapplers were issued visas on urgent basis on Saturday.
Pakistan Wrestling Federation’s (PWF) secretary Arshad Sattar told thecricketplus on Tuesday that Tayyab Raza (97kg) will compete on February 22 while Mohammad Bilal (61kg) and Zaman Anwar (125kg) will play on February 23. The team will return on February 24.
Arshad said he was confident that Bilal and Zaman would pull off good performance. However he was quick to add that Tayyab Reza was still a bit immature. “He will improve as the time progresses,” Arshad said.
Bilal, who is the cousin of star wrestler Mohammad Inam, is being prepared for the Asian qualifiers to be held in Xian, China, from March 27-29.
“Bilal is highly talented. We will reduce his weight after the New Delhi event as we plan to field him in the Asian qualifiers for Olympics in 57kg. I hope he has the guts and can unsettle the opponents in the qualifiers,” Arshad said.
National wrestlers underwent training at the Punjab College Lahore for a few days.
“We had held the camp on our own. The state did not back us financially. We have deposited 750 Swiss Franc for accomodation and diet of wrestlers for four days. The wrestlers are being sent via Wagah border,” Arshad said.
Young grappler Abdul Rehman was also scheduled to take part in the event but he decided to stay away due to injury.
The Asian Championship does not serve as Olympic qualifiers but a national federation can only field wrestlers in the Olympics qualifiers.

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