Pakistani woman athlete's rags to riches tale

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Karachi, Mar 1(ANI): Gold-winning Pakistan athlete Naseem Hamid, who became the first Pakistani woman to sprint to gold in the South Asian Federation (SAF) Games' 26-year history, is racing from rags to riches.

The 23-year-old clocked 11.81 seconds to clinch gold in the 100-metre sprint in the SAF Games in Bangladesh, and has already been given a hero's return and cash prizes worth millions of rupees have poured in from President Asif Ali Zardari and businessmen.

Brought up in humble surroundings, Hamid comes from a one-room house in a slum area of Karachi, and now the Pakistani Government has also promised her a bigger house.

She was never discouraged by her impoverished background, but nor did she like it mentioned. It only came to light when television channels rushed to find her house when she rose from nowhere to success in Dhaka.

"It still hasn't sunk in. It definitely is a fairytale success and will take some time to digest," The Daily Times quoted Hamid, as saying.

Zardari also came to receive her at the airport in Islamabad, and said that her hard work has brought laurels to the country.

Meanwhile, talking about her meeting with the President, Hamid said: "I am overwhelmed by the president's encouragement and it's a matter of great happiness for me that he promised to send us or training abroad for future competitions." (ANI)

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