By our correspondent
LIPIS, MALAYSIA: Iran Karate Federation’s (IKF) president Seyyed Hassan Tabatabaei has pledged that Iran would welcome Pakistani karatekas for training on Iran’s soil for preparations for the 19th Asian Games slated to be held in Hangzhou, China, from September 23 to October 8.
“I met Tabatabaei today here. I told him that we would like to come to Iran for training ahead of the Asian Games and he pledged that they would support us,” Pakistan Karate Federation (PKF) chairman Mohammad Jehangir told thecricketplus.com from Malaysia.
The meeting was held on the sideline of the Asian Championship which began in Lipis, Pahang, Malaysia, on Friday.
“He advised us to write to the IKF a letter for the purpose,” Jehangir said.
Jehangir said that he has decided to send the top karatekas to Iran for training ahead of the Asian Games.
“Initially we had a plan of three-week foreign training but now we have decided to send the fighters for four-week training to Iran so that they could get ample time to prepare well for the quadrennial event,” Jehangir said.
“We would send them in the first week of September and they will return to Pakistan very close to the Asian Games karate event before leaving for Hangzhou,” Jehangir informed.
He said that top five fighters, including three male and two females, will be sent to Iran.
“We also plan to send with them a coach also. If we don’t send a coach we have already our former Iranian coach Ahmed Safi who will coordinate. I also held meeting with Ahmad Safi, who is here serving as Iran’s coach,” Jehangir said.
With two national fighters Niamatullah and Mohammad Awais busy featuring in the Asian Karate Championship in Malaysia the rest of the lot is undergoing training for the Asian Games here at the PSB Coaching Centre.
The PKF is yet to announce the final squad for the Asian Games.
However the country’s premier fighter Saadi Abbas, who is based in Canada, will certainly be part of the Pakistan’s touring party for the quadrennial event.
Former Asian champion Saadi, who recently won the Montreal Open, has resumed his training in Canada. He will feature in the Premier League in Ireland in September before moving to Iran with the Pakistan squad for training for the Asiad.
He is a big medal hope.
“I am working to improve repetition and to enhance strength. It is difficult to recover hundred percent but injury can be reduced and I will carefully look into the things inshaAllah. I have targeted a medal in the Asian Games,” Saadi told this correspondent from Canada a few days ago.
Saadi, who will play his last Asian Games, is determined to pull off a medal in the event where he has not so finished at the victory podium.