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Former Pakistani athlete advises sports bodies to stay away from politics

Talha Talib after his heroic performance at Tokyo Olympics (Left) and Arshad Nadeem as he throws a javelin (R). 
  • Politics has destroyed Pakistan’s sports, says ex-athlete Mohammad Talib. 
  • “We need people in the sports governing bodies who could work selflessly on the athletes’ development,” he says. 
  • Ex-athlete laments how countries with small populations are bagging medals while Pakistan lags.

Former international athlete and ex-trainer of the Pakistan hockey team, Mohammad Talib, has advised the country’s sports bodies to stay away from politics, in an interview with The News

Talib remained Pakistan hockey team’s trainer from 1980 to 1988 and had also trained the Pakistan boxing team from 1992 to 2004. 

He said that the recent heroics by Olympians Talha Talib and Arshad Nadeem proved that there was no dearth of talent in Pakistan. 

“But we need to polish this talent properly. We need such people in the sports governing bodies who could work selflessly on the athletes’ development,” he said. 

“The sports governing bodies should not indulge in politics, which has destroyed the country’s sports,” he added. 

He lamented how some countries, with a tiny population, were bagging medals at the Olympics but Pakistan, despite “a massive human resource are unable to compete at the biggest stage”. 

Talib showered praise on Arshad Nadeem, who made history by becoming the first Pakistani to qualify for a track and field event in the Olympics. in the javelin throw. 

“He is highly talented and I am hopeful he will do his best in the finals also. My prayers are with him,” said the former athlete, praising Nadeem for playing his cards right. 

Pakistan also fared well in the weightlifting category when Talha Talib, competing in the 67kg men’s weightlifting contest, was on top of the race for a while before being surpassed by athletes from China, Colombia, and Italy in final attempts.

After lifting 150kg in the snatch lift, Talha fell while attempting 166kg in the first attempt at the clean and jerk move. He lifted 170kg in his final attempt to have an overall lift of 320kg.

However, he received a hero’s welcome after arriving back to the country for his stellar performance. 

Twenty-four-year-old Nadeem’s stellar performance in the Tokyo Olympics included a throw that reached the 78.5m mark in the first attempt but in the second attempt, Arshad created history with a throw of 85.16m that also placed him on top of his group. 

This was overall the third-best throw in the contest after India’s Neeraj Chopra (86.65m) and Germany’s Johannes Vetter (85.64m).

Arshad Nadeem is the first-ever Pakistani athlete to qualify for the final of any track and field event in the Olympics.