Pakistan Bags 34 Medals as Special Olympics Come to an End in Los Angeles
By Nabil Tahir
Karachi: Pakistan’s Special Olympics contingent finished their campaign with an impressive tally of 34 medals — 13 gold, 11 silver, 10 bronze — in eight disciplines as the Summer Special Olympics World Games 2015 ended in Los Angeles on August 2.
The cyclists were the most impressive of the lot, winning 11 medals. Uzma Yousuf and Tauseef Hassan secured two gold medals each, in Time Trial and Road Race respectively, and one gold each was secured by Sumbal Yousuf and Salman Siddiqui in the Time Trial event. Mehmoona Hussain and Khadija Irfan won a silver and bronze medal each in the same event, and Salman also secured a bronze in Time Trial.
In swimming, Asim Zar won gold and silver in 100m and 50m Freestyle races respectively, while Aqsa Janjua won gold in 50m Backstroke and silver in the 50m Freestyle race.
A total of eight medals were secured in athletics: Ramail Irshad won gold and Saira Ikram, Nadir Hussain, Amina Irshad and Amjad Khan won silver medals, while Marvi Azhar, Nayab Bibi, and Muhammad Waseem won bronze.
In badminton, Jahanzaib and Umesalma Tayyab won gold in the mixed double event, while the two also clinched a gold each in the singles events.
Table Tennis players Muhammad Arham and Faisal Khursheed won silver in the doubles event, while Khursheed won bronze with Ruqia Latif in the mixed doubles. Ruqia also won a bronze in the singles event.
In tennis, Ahsan Anwar and Muhammad Qayyum won gold in the doubles event, while Anwar and Qayyum won silver and bronze respectively in the singles category.
The basketball team won the silver medal in Division TM.06MedalB, which had a total of 10 players in the squad.
The five-a-side football team won bronze in Division 5M3 which had eight players in the squad.
The impressive performance has naturally led to praise from several quarters. “The players have done tremendously well in these Summer Games,” said Special Olympics Pakistan Director Sanam Saigol. “They did well in the last games too but this time around they have proved themselves to be real Olympians.”
Saigol revealed that this is not a one-off though. “They participated in the 2013 Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games in Australia, where they won 51 medals, but this time their overall performance has been incredible,” she said. “They have improved a lot and the new players have also proven themselves.” – Courtesy The Express Tribune