Inam faces exit as Pakistan fails to break medal jinx

By our correspondent

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: Pakistan failed to break the 30-year old medal jinx when the last hope Mohammad Inam also lost his fight against Saiakbai Usupov of Kyrgyzstan in the Asian Wrestling Championship in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on Sunday.

In the 86 kilogramme quarter-final Inam went 5-6 down while fighting in what was a gripping bout. Inam lost the first round 0-5 and did well in the second round, winning it 5-1 but it was not enough for the country’s premier wrestler to give some good news to the nation.

“Inam was going well in the first round but got relaxed in the last 15 seconds and conceded four points which fell too heavy,” Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) vice-president Arshad Sattar told ‘The News’ after Inam lost his key fight.

On Saturday Mohammad Bilal fell at the first hurdle in the 57 kilogramme qualification stage against Sunggwon Kim of Korea while Inayatullah lost two fights, losing to Iranian fighter in the qualification phase of the 65kg event before going down to a Japanese in the repechage fight. Arshad said that Inayatullah was suffering from fever, adding he lost his first bout against the junior world champion but he should not have lost to the Japanese wrestler in his repechage show.

Pakistan had fielded three wrestlers in the continental event. “You know the previous three years did not go well due to covid and our players did not get ample exposure but we will learn from mistakes and will work over the weak points during camp and will go very strong into the Commonwealth Games,” Arshad said.

“When these wrestlers return we will plan to manage a 40-day training tour of Kazakhstan and if it is done it will help our wrestlers to learn more,” Arshad said. Besides the Commonwealth Games Pakistani wrestlers also have ahead Islamic Games to be held in Konya, Turkey, and Asian Games which are pencilled in for September 10-25 in Hangzhou, China.

Even for the Mongolia Asian Championship both Inam and Inayatullah had been sent on April 7 and they were able to train alongside Asian nations for a couple of weeks.