On way to Olympics resilient Usman clears another hurdle

By our correspondent

KARACHI: Melbourne-based Pakistani equestrian Usman Khan needed five events to achieve the Minimum Eligibility Requirement (MER) with his new horse and retain his Olympics spot.
And on Sunday he cleared the second hurdle and achieved MER qualification in a qualifying event in Sydney.
“We were at one stage fourth after clearing showjumping round but incurred time penalties during fiesty cross country run which resulted finishing seventh at FEI CCI 3 Star at Sydney International Eventing competition,” Usman told this correspondent from Sydney.
“I have been here at Sydney for the last two weeks and am featuring in various competitions,” said Usman. Earlier last year Usman had cleared the first hurdle successfully with his new horse when he got through the Olympic qualifying event in Robertson.
Usman will now need minimum three more appearances in the qualifying events until June which will help him retain his Olympics berth. Usman created history in 2019 when he blasted his way into the Tokyo Olympics following his 15-year long journey during which he passed through some rigorous times. He even once sacrificed his job for the sake of national duty and still is giving sacrifices.
Last year his horse through which he had qualified for Olympics passed away which created a big issue for the experienced equestrian who is a self-made athlete with enormous steal nerves and commitment.
The Ministry of IPC has promised to help him in the purchase of a new horse. But sources said that no solid development has been made from the state towards that direction. Usman needs the support at the earliest so that he wholeheartedly could focus on his training and competitions. It would be a big boost to Pakistan’s Olympics contingent if Usman moves to Tokyo from Australia to hoist the national flag in the eventing event of the world’s major extravaganza.