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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Karate team received by huge crowd on return

By Shahzada Usman
Published: November 26, 2011

The Pakistani mens and womens karate teams are garlanded at the Wagah border, after returning triumphant from the South Asian Karate championship in India. Pakistan defeated the Indian team to claim gold. PHOTO: NNI

LAHORE: The triumphant Pakistan contingent arrived at the Wagah Border yesterday after clinching the inaugural South Asian Karate Championship held in New Delhi.
Pakistan bagged 14 medals, including seven gold, four silver and three bronze, to stand on top of the podium, ahead of India and Sri Lanka.

The team received a vociferous reception at the border with a huge crowd praising its effort in the eight-nation tournament. The female players clinched eight of the 14 medals, with Kulsum winning two gold, a silver and bronze medal and Beenish Akbar claiming two gold and a bronze medal. Beenish Khan won one gold, while in the men’s events, Saadi Abbas, Imtiaz and Baz Mohammad clinched gold medals for Pakistan.

Abbas termed the triumph as a huge achievement for the country and praised the performance of the 23-member squad.

“I’m very happy about my team’s performance,” Abbas said after his arrival. “We worked hard for the tournament and this is a very special moment for all of us. Beating India wasn’t easy since they’re a tough side. We were received with a warm reception in India and it felt really good. Tours like this one will improve relations between the two countries.”

The female members were ecstatic as well and appreciated the work put in by the coaching staff that yielded the positive result.

“We had a good time in the championship and were welcomed by the hosts,” said Akbar. “The coaching staff worked really hard with us for this championship and this is a result of our hard work and concentration.”

While the Pakistan contingent arrived via the border, the Indian wrestlers, who took part in the Indo-Pak dangal, left for their country via the same route as well.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2011.

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