BANGKOK: Pakistan’s young athlete Ayesha Ayaz, 12, on Monday surprised the world by winning three medals at the International Taekwondo Championship being held in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 12-year-old — who belongs to Sawat — stunned the audience with her exceptional skills during the championship by winning the medals in the Under-12 category.
In the 42kg class, she defeated players from three countries and bagged one silver and two bronze medals. More than 2,200 athletes from 40 countries participated in the event.
It must be noted that Ayesha won a gold medal at the Al-Fujria International event in Dubai earlier this year, including a total of seven medals she has won at the international level. She was the only girl from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to go to Thailand to participate in the championship.
Yesterday, a fourteen-member Pakistan taekwondo team was announced to represent the country in the 19th Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou (China) from September 23.
Out of fourteen, the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) will sponsor 10 while the Pakistan Taekwondo Federation (PTF) will look after the travelling expenses of the rest of the four members.
According to the details available with The News, two officials, Lt Col (retd) Raja Wasim Ahmad (President PTF) and Omar Saeed (CEO TF) trips will be self-sponsored.
Male athlete Mazhar Abbas and lady athlete Fateemah Tuz Zahraa will be sponsored by the taekwondo federation.
The PSB will sponsor ten athletes and officials. These include Yousef Karami (coach from Iran), Saba Shamim (team head), Seongoh Choi (Korea coach), and Najia Rasool (female coach).
Haroon Khan, Mohammad Arbaz Khan, Hamza Omar Saeed, Naqash Hamdani, Naila, and Aqdasullah Qadeer — all these six athletes will be sponsored by the PSB.
The fourteen-member squad includes six officials and eight athletes meaning only 55 per cent of the contingent members will fight for medals at the Games. Pakistan have a remote chance of winning a medal at the Asian Games taekwondo event as they have never won any medal at the Asian Games level.
Considering the vast support from the Ministry and PSB in the shape of finances and camp training, it is hoped that the team will go on to make an impression at the 19th Asian Games.
As many as 13 gold medals will be at stake in the 19th Asian Games Taekwondo event to be staged at the competition to be held at the Lin’an Gymnasium Lin’an District.