51st National Athletics Championship begins tomorrow

By our correspondent
LAHORE: The 51st National Athletics Championship will begin at the Artillery Regimental Centre in Attock on Wednesday (today).
The event is being held on the newly-laid track. The same track also hosted the 5th National Junior and Youth Championships which concluded on Monday.
The most important factor of the seniors’ event will be the participation of hurdler Mohammad Naeem and sprinter Samiullah who both have completed their four-year ban for doping reasons.
Samiullah’s ban was expired on December 2 while Naeem’s ban was expired on Tuesday (December 5).
Both these athletes along with Olympian Mehboob Ali had been banned for four years after having failed dope tests conducted during the South Asian Games in Nepal in 2019. The trio had claimed medals and latter were stripped off them when they were found guilty of using performance enhancing drugs.
Mehboob of Army is not playing in the national event due to injury.
Naeem’s fate was being discussed in a meeting of the Army’s officials on Tuesday evening, a well-informed source told this correspondent from Attock.
If it is decided that Naeem will play then he will compete in the 110m hurdles on Wednesday (today). He has worked extremely hard for the comeback and he had mentioned it during an exclusive chat with The News last month.
Samiullah is set to return as his coach had confirmed to this correspondent a few days ago.
On the first day on Wednesday men will compete in the 110m hurdles, 5000m, pole vault, 400m semi-finals, 100m semi-finals, hammer throw, 800m, 4x100m relay, high jump, shot put, 100m final and 400m final.
The women will flex their muscles in 110m hurdles, shot put, 400m, triple jump, 100m, 10,000m, pole vault, javelin throw, 4x100m relay semi-finals, 800m final, 100m final and 400m final.

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