ISLAMABAD: The 44th National Athletics Championship is starting at Jinnah Stadium, Pakistan Sports Complex here from Friday (tomorrow).
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) president Major General (r) Mohammad Akram Sahi said that more than 500 athletes from 18 departments would take part in the national championship. “Pakistan Army are the defending champions and cash awards will distributed among top players,” he added.
Sahi said that men would compete in 22 while women in 20 disciplines during the three-day national event. “Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), Federally Administrated Tribal Ares (FATA), Pakistan Education Boards (PEB) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB) will make their maiden appearance in the athletics meet,” he said. The other participating teams are Army, Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Pakistan Navy, Pakistan WAPDA, Pakistan Railways, Pakistan Police, Higher Education Commission (HEC), Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KPK), Balochistan, Islamabad, Pakistan Ordinance Factories (POF) Wah and Pakistan Still Mills.
The event was earlier scheduled to take place in Karachi but the AFP shifted it to Islamabad mainly because the athletics track in Karachi was not in good condition. Sahi said the AFP’s efforts for uplifting athletics in the country were yielding positive results and that was evident from the performance of athletes in the recent past. He said two Pakistan athletes Liaquat Ali and Rabia Ashiq would take part in the London Olympics on wild cards. – Dailytimes