WFP moots for more Indo-Pak sporting ties

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Pune, Oct 15 (UNI) To improve the standard of the game in the two countries, the Weightlifting Federation of Pakistan (WFP) today suggested regular ties between India and Pakistan so as to come up to the level of the elite countries of the world.

WFP general secretary Hafiz Imran Bhatt told mediapersons here that regular recipriocal competition between India and Pakistan would not only help to improve the standard of the game, but would also help the relations between the two countries get better.

He said, ''Though Pakistan was much behind India in weightlifting, it has been making steady progress in recent years.'' Citing the example of the last Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, he said, ''Pakistan had claimed a gold and two silver medals in the men's section. This has certainly given a thrust to the game in the country, and we hope to fare well in the Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010.'' When asked about women taking to weightlifting in Pakistan, Bhatt informed that it is yet to take its roots, though the federation has been trying its very best to promote the game at all levels.

He, however, clarified that there was no religious bias to women taking up to this sport and the scenario has been changing gradually in every sphere of sporting disciplines since Pakistani women have started making their mark in swimming, hockey, squash, cricket and even football.

He also praised the facilities on offer at the Commonwealth Youth Games and such an infrasture helps the players to perform to their level best.

''I have been very impressed to see the unbelievable world class infrastructural facilities being provided in all the nine disciplines of the Commonwealth Youth Games here,'' he stated.

Earlier, Weightlifting Fedration of India (WFI) secretary general B R Gulati, who had taken over the post recently, said the federation has been making concerted efforts to eradicate the doping menace which has brought stigma to the Indian weightlifters, recent case being that of Monica Devi, whose first sample was found postive while training at the Army Sports Institute (ASI) here.

Unfortunately, Sports Authority of India (SAI) had bungled her case which deprived her from participating at the Beijing Olympics.

''The ongoing CYG doping samples were collected at random and will be sent to WADA nominated laboratory and the results would be announced seven days after the completion of the competition,'' he said.

UNI IS RAR AS1451

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