KARACHI: Sprinters Gohar Shahbaz and Najma Perveen, both from Wapda, stole opening day’s limelight in the 48th National Athletics Championship, winning the Fastest Man and Fastest Woman titles, respectively at the PSB Coaching Centre on Friday.
Running against wind in the afternoon, Shahbaz clocked 10.92 seconds to defend his title. Mohammad Shahbaz of Army seized the silver while Zaigham Iqbal of Wapda got the bronze.
“Though I could not repeat my Quetta timings of 10.44 seconds, I’m happy that I made it two on the trot,” an elated 24-year-old Shahbaz, who hails from Gujranwala, told Dawn soon after the victory.
After receiving the gold medal at the victory stand, he dedicated it to the late international athlete Nadia Nazir who died in a fatal road accident near Bahawalnagar last month with her young child.
Olympian Najma Perveen, who was pick of the meet at Quetta with a rich haul of six golds, also repeated her feat of retaining Fastest Woman title. She clocked 12.79 seconds for the honours.
Sahib-e-Asra of Wapda earned the silver while Hiba Khurshid got the bronze.
The Faisalabad-born Perveen completed her double, first by any athlete in the meet so far, when she clinched 400 metres gold under one minute. She timed 57.22 seconds.
The brothers’ pair of Naukar Hussain and Mehboob Ali did Army proud grabbing gold and silver in 400 metres as Asad Iqbal of Wapda finished third.
In a repeat performance, the South Asian Games gold medalist Arshad Nadeem of Wapda also made his mark while retaining the javelin throw gold.
The world junior bronze medalist threw the javelin to 76.80 metres to land the gold. It was his last throw that earned him distinction.
The 20-year-old Mian Chunnu athlete lauded the performance of HEC’s Yasir Sultan who grabbed the silver and his team-mate Imran Yaseen who settled with a bronze.
In the morning session, Wapda’s Fatima Hussain, Rabia Ashiq and Zaneet Parveen retained their golds in javelin throw, 800 metres and shot put, respectively.
Sidra Bashir of Army retained her gold in pole vault and so did soldier Mohammad Afzal in the triple jump.
As many as 15 finals – seven in morning and eight in the afternoon – were decided on the opening day of the three-day meet.
As expected, Wapda and Army have monopolised the golds on the opening day. The former has fetched 10 golds — seven in women’s and three in men’s — to lead the overall table. They are followed by the latter who have seized the remaining five — four in men’s and one in women’s.
As per the tradition, the Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) is presenting Rs5,000 to gold medal winner, Rs3,000 to the silver medalist and Rs2,000 to the bronze medalists.
Deputy Speaker of Sindh Assembly Shehla Raza graced the formal opening ceremony and declared the 48th National Athletics Championship open amidst applause.
Local athlete Shakil took the oath on behalf of the participating athletes while former 100 metres national champion Habib Shah, who is a deputy director in the PSB, took the oath on behalf of technical officials.
AFP president retired Maj Gen Mohammad Akram Sahi, AFP secretary Mohammad Zafar, Director General of the PSB Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera, organising secretary Zahid Rizvi, retired Col Zafar Ahmed and Humaira Khan were prominent among others who were present on the occasion.
Led by Mohammad Talib, veteran international and national athletes of Karachi including Zafar Ibne Yaqoob, Naseeb Gul, Mehboob Dawood, Raza Mohammad, Shah Naeem Zafar, Farhat Rasheed, Naeem Rasheed and Razzak were also in attendance.
Some of them were also honoured and invited to present medals to the winners.
5000 metres men’s final: 1-Ateeq-ur-Rehman (Army), 2-Rameez Javed Mirza (Army), 3-Sohail Amir (Wapda). Time: 14:56.41.
10000 metres women’s final: 1-Farhat Bano (Wapda), 2-Nasreen Kausar (Wapda), 3-Percika (Balochistan). Time: 43:28.83.
Javelin throw women’s final: 1-Fatima Hussain (Wapda), 2-Amina Shakeel (Wapda), 3-Ghazala (HEC). Dist: 39.81 metres.
Pole Vault women’s final: 1-Sidra Bashir (Army), 2-Mehnaz Bibi (Army), 3-Ghazala Y. Khan (Wapda). Height: 2.95 metres.
800 metres women’s final: 1-Rabia As(Wapda), 2-Samibia Naureen (Wapda), 3-Almas (HEC). Time: 2:27.66
Shot Put women’s final: 1-Zaneet Parveen (Wapda), 2-Qandeel Inayat (Army), 3-Mehnoor (Punjab). Dist: 11.92 metres
Triple jump men’s final: 1-Mohammad Afzal (Army), 2-Zafar iqbal (Army), 3-Waqas Ahmed (Wapda). Dist: 15.93 metres.
Pole vault men’s final: 1-Rehan Anjum (Army), 2-Gulfraz (Army), 3-Mohammad Saleem (Wapda). Height: 4.80 metres.
Shot put men’s final: 1-Shafqat Ali (Wapda), 2-Mohammad Waseem (Army), 3-Junaid Ali (Army). Dist: 16.37 metres.
400 metres men’s final: 1-Naukar Hussain (Army), 2-Mehboob Ali (Army), 3-Asad Iqbal (Wapda). Time: 47.17.
100 metres men’s final: 1-Gohar Shahbaz (Wapda), 2-Mohammad Shahbaz (Army), 3-Zaigham Iqbal (Wapda). Time: 10.92
100 metres women’s final: 1-Najma Perveen (Wapda), 2-Sahib-e-Asra (Wapda), 3-Hiba Khurshid (Army). Time: 12.79.
400 metres women’s final: 1-Najma Perveen (Wapda), 2-Sahib-e-Asra (Wapda), 3-Abida Perveen (Army). Time: 57.22
High jump women’s final: 1-Ume-Habiba (Wapda), 2-Maria Maratab (Army), 3-Rehma (HEC). Height: 1.53 metres
Javelin throw men’s final: 1-Arshad Nadeem (Wapda), 2-Yasir Sultan (HEC), 3-Imran Yaseen (Wapda). Height: 76.80 metres
Men’s: 1. Army 4-6-1; 2. Wapda 3-0-6; 3. HEC 0-1-0.
Women’s: 1. Wapda 7-5-1; 2. Army 1-3-2; 3. HEC 0-0-3; 4. Balochistan 0-0-1; 5. Punjab 0-0-1.