Athletics: AFP hope to unearth new talent

KARACHI: The Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) is hoping to discover new talent for the upcoming assignments by conducting open trials which begin on Friday at the Jinnah Stadium in Islamabad.

According to details provided by AFP, the trials will begin at 10am at the Pakistan Sports Complex. The selection process will take place for different categories for the upcoming 16th Asian Junior Athletics Championship and IAAF World Junior Athletics Championships.

Athletes aged between 18-19 years are eligible to participate. They have been requested to bring their original national identity card or ‘B’ Form and original passport for verification.

AFP Secretary-General Mohammad Zafar is pinning his hopes on a good turnout for the trials.

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“The main aim of conducting the open trials is to get some good athletes who can serve Pakistan well in the junior championships,” Zafar told The Express Tribune.

“We are trying to encourage the youth into pursuing athletics by providing them the an open and level playing field,  if they are good enough, they’ll surely get an opportunity to work in training camps and represent Pakistan.”

Offical to keep close eye on trial

The official will closely monitor the trials himself along with professional athletics coaches of different disciplines. In the absence of AFP President Akram Sahi, Zafar will play a key role, but the official revealed that he is still in close contact with Sahi, who is out of the country.

Zafar stated that the federation will select and train the athletes ahead of the two important international championships.

“The Asian Athletics event is likely to take place in June and July thus we’ll have few months to help athletes reach peak levels. Even if we get some good new athletes, we can work on their technique to help them prepare for two upcoming mega events,” he added.

Is should be mentioned here that Liaqat Ali and Rabia Ashiq participated in London 2012 Olympics but both failed to make a mark at the toughest international competition, prompting the federation to groom young athletes for next Olympics by launching talent hunt camps.

The Federation believes that new talent can be groomed into world class athletes if they are spotted at a young age.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2014.

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