Pak rowing squad to fly for Hangzhou today

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LAHORE: Pakistan’s rowing squad will fly out of Islamabad for Hangzhou on Sunday (today) to feature in the 19th Asian Games rowing event which will begin from September 20.

The five-member squad comprises Muzammil Shehzad, Zahid Iqbal Khan, Asad Iqbal and Amjad Baig while Irfan Younis is accompanying the side as official.

Pakistan Rowing Federation’s (PRF) president Rizwan-ul-Haq on Saturday hoped that the brigade would live up to the billing in Hangzhou.

“We are close to winning a medal,” Rizwan told The News on Saturday.

“We are featuring in three events in the Asian Games and in all three events we are close to medals,” Rizwan said.

“The issue is that we don’t have more training time and the rowers don’t get time so that we could send them to international meets to check them. And if we are going without that exposure it becomes difficult for us to say anything certain,” Rizwan said.

“There should be consistent camps throughout the year,” Rizwan was quick to add.

He said that of the five-member rowing contingent two persons have been sponsored by the government, and one each by Army, Navy and Pakistan Rowing Federation.

Rizwan said that they will take boats on rent there.

“We have talked to a company there and have managed the boats on rent,” Rizwan said.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan’s men’s volleyball team and sailing squad have already left for China to feature in the quadrennial event.

A 262-member Pakistan’s contingent, which carries 137 male athletes and 53 female athletes, will proceed to China in groups keeping in view the events schedule. The athletes village was also opened on Saturday.

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