By our correspondent
LAHORE: Pakistan on Tuesday conquered India in straight sets to finish fifth in the 19th Asian Games men’s volleyball event in Hangzhou.
It was a tough game with either side making top-notch efforts to keep the things in their favour. However it was Pakistan which showed great discipline on the court. The team acted as a unit and did well in pressure situations to seal straight sets win the fifth place playoff. The set score was 25-21, 25-20, 25-23 in Pakistan’s favour.
“We were unlucky to lose from Qatar in the quarter-finals, otherwise there was every chance of winning a bronze,” Pakistan Volleyball Federation’s (PVF) chairman Chaudhry Mohammad Yaqoob told thecricketplus.com from Hangzhou.
“But it’s good that we have improved our ranking in Asia. In the last Asian Games in Jakarta we had finished eighth. We have a young team and we shall inshaAllah be at the world’s stage in the next two to three years,” Yaqoob said.
Pakistan had a solid run in this event. They finished as their Group D winners by recording straight sets wins against Mongolia and Chinese Taipei. The Green-shirts then downed South Korea 3-0 in the round of 12 to make it to the quarter-finals. However there Pakistan went 1-3 down to strong Qatar to set a fifth place clash with India where they did the job.
Boxing: Pakistan’s promising boxer Mohammad Qasim made his international debut with a solid win when he defeated Nawwaf Alzahmi of the UAE 5-0 in the men’s 51-57kg preliminaries round of 32.
“It was an outstanding win. Qasim is a brave fighter and he can notch more victories,” Pakistan team manager Major (retd) Mehmood Riaz told ‘The News’ from Hangzhou. On Wednesday (today) Ibrahim will fight in the men’s 57-63.5kg round of 16.
Taekwondo: At the Linan Sports Culture and Exhibition Centre Pakistan’s poor run in taekwondo continued on Tuesday as well. Mohammad Arbaz Khan lost his -63kg round of 16 fight to Iran’s Alireza Hosseinpour with the round scores being 19-3, 9-4. On September 28 Pakistan’s major hope Omar Hamza Saeed will face Qatar’s Wadhah Al-Ahmed in the men’s +80kg round of 16.
Wushu: At the Xioshan Guali Sports Centre Sanda Pakistan finished its wushu journey on a pathetic note when Samreen Altaf was defeated by Samiroumi Masoryan of Iran on points in the women’s 52kg quarter-finals.
Pakistan had fielded four fighters and all lost their initial bouts in wushu in which the country had claimed medals in three successive Asian Games in 2006, 2010 and 2014.
Swimming: It was again a miserable day for the national swimmers who did not impress at the major stage. In the women’s 100m freestyle Jehanara Nabi finished at the 23rd place among 27 swimmers competed in the heats with a time of 1:02.39.
In the men’s 400m Individual Medley Mohammad Amaan Siddiqui clocked 5:01.12 to finish at the 17th spot out of 21 swimmers featured in heats. Azhar Abbas, in this even, finished at the 20th place with a time of 5:24.77.
In the women’200m backstroke, in which total 19 swimmers featured in the heats, Fatima Adnan Lotia ended at the poor 19th place by clocking 2:53.04.
In the women’s 400m freestyle, featuring 18 swimmers in the heats, Jehanara Nabi ended at the 15th spot with a time of 4:39.28. In the men’s 4×400 metre Medley Relay, featuring 16 nations, Pakistan finished at the 15th spot with an aggregate time of 4:24.81.
Mohammad Amaan Siddiqui, Mohammad Hamza Anwar, Azhar Abbas and Mohammad Ahmed Durrani represented Pakistan in the event.
Sailing: At the NBX Sailing Centre Pakistan’s duo of Nadine Xerxes Avari and Mehboob, finished seventh in both 11th and 12 race of 470 class.
In the men’s ILCA7 race-10 and race 11 Muzammil Hassan finished tenth among 13 contestants. In the girls ILCA4 race-11 Zoya Asad Ali finished eighth among eight participants. In the boys ILCA4 race-11 Javed Raphael ended tenth among the 12 contestants.
Fencing: In fencing Pakistan’s lone athlete Mujaded Awan lost all his fights of the men’s epee individual round 1 against the fencers of Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Jordan, Japan and UAE at the Hangzhou Dianzi University Gymnasium Blue Piste.
By our correspondent