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Articles
Hockey brings some cheer as Pakistan appear in their first Olympiad
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
by Gul Hameed Bhatti
No medals were won at the 1948 London Olympic Games – hockey though came close to a bronze at least before losing out to Holland in the third place play-off

As a newly independent country, having separated from British India, Pakistan was just 350 days old when it began its Olympic Games campaign in London when the 14th Olympiad was launched at the Great Britain capital on July 29, 1948. Sixteen days later, when the Games came to an end, Pakistan was celebrating its first anniversary as Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's new Muslim nation in the Indo-Pak sub-continent.

On the sporting front, however, Pakistan didn't make any big waves in that first year of its being a free state. No medals were won at the 1948 London Olympic Games -- hockey though came close to a bronze at least before losing out to Holland in the third place play-off. In the seven disciplines that Pakistan was represented, the new nation's athletes finished only among the also rans, in almost all cases back at the very rear of their respective
chosen events.

Surely, it was nothing to have been alarmed about. Of course, Pakistan had shared undivided India's sporting legacy for several decades prior to 1947 but, after independence, it literally had to pick up the pieces to become a sporting nation in its own right. The Quaid-e-Azam, the founder of the nation, among other things also provided a kickstart to the country's ambitions in sports by heading the campaign to inaugurate Pakistan's first 'Olympic Games' and national championships in various other disciplines as soon as it was possible to do so.

The Quaid-e-Azam, also the first Governor-General of Pakistan, declared the inaugural Pakistan Olympic Games open at the Polo Ground in Karachi, which now houses the Baradari in the Bagh-e-Quaid-e-Azam and the Pearl-Continental Hotel in one corner. The Governor-General House, which is now home to the Governor of the Sindh province, is situated right next to the ground.

A total of 140 athletes were represented in the 1948 Pakistan Olympics. Competitions were held in athletics -- both men and women took part, basketball, boxing, cycling, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling.

West Punjab won the overall championship. The Quaid-e-Azam donated a Challenge Shield from his private funds which bears his illustrious name.

The Quaid-e-Azam, addressing the athletes from all the provinces and states of Pakistan, had said: "I bid you welcome. My message to you is build up physical strength not for aggression, not for militarism, but for becoming fit, all your life and all the time, in every walk of life of your nation wherever you be and always to be a force for peace, international amity and goodwill. After these Games, you shall go to the World Olympiad at Wembley Stadium, London, representing us as messengers of our goodwill and my best wishes will go with you. Remember, to win is nothing. It is the effort and the spirit behind the effort that counts."



PAKISTAN SELECTS ITS CHAMPIONS FOR OLYMPIAD

Pakistan sent players for seven sporting disciplines at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. The number of athletes was 39 with the contingent comprising 54 persons including all the officials, etc. The Honourable Ahmad E.H. Jaffar, President of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), was the country's representative at the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Major S.A. 'Tooti' Hamid, a respected sports administrator and coach whose daughter Tahira Hamid was one of Pakistan's most versatile sportspersons and whose son Farooq Hamid played Test cricket for Pakistan as a fast bowler, was appointed as the Pakistan team's Chef de Mission.

There were only male members in the Olympics bound squad. There were five athletes in the track and field events. In addition, there were three boxers, two cyclists, 19 hockey players, four swimmers, two weightlifters and four wrestlers.

Almost all players chosen for the 1948 Olympiad were either champions of their respective events in the Pakistan Games or won medals of lower categories as compared to gold. Whether they were expected to repeat their feats in London is something not much is known about, but there was hope that they would all do well. In the end, hardly anyone fulfilled his individual promise, the standard at the Olympic Games was way above their heads. The story, sadly, continues today, even after 60 years have now gone by.

PAKISTAN ATHLETES BRING THE REAR

Most of the athletes finished last even in the heats of their chosen events. Mohammad Sharif Butt, who took second place in his 200 metres heat, qualified for the second round though, only to be banished to the last spot.

The athletics squad captain Zahur Ahmed Khan and Lt-Col Nazar Mohammad Malik were both entered in the shot put and discus throw events. Both failed to qualify for the finals. Zahur's shot put distance was not measured because during all his three throws, he lost his balance and overstepped the ring.

All three boxers were defeated at the first round stage, the referee stopping Alex Monterio's bantamweight fight inside the initial round when he faced India's B Lall. The two cyclists produced dismal results too.

Incidentally, Aftab Farrukh, winner of the 1,000 metres sprint at the 1948 National Championship, was not chosen in the Olympics squad. Aftab, now a retired judge, has recently become well known around the world as head of the Appellate Tribunal formed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to solve the Shoaib Akhtar case!

All swimmers sent by Pakistan to London finished at the very end in their different events in the pool. Weightlifters Mohammad Iqbal Butt and Mohammad Naqi Butt barely saved themselves from ending at the very bottom.

The wrestlers presented a sad story. They were unable even to compete at the Olympiad, because they had been entered by Major S.A. Hamid, the then Honorary Secretary of the POA who was in London actually as the Pakistan contingent's Chef de Mission, in the Greco-Roman style event and not in Free Style.

When this came to light Zafar Ali, the then treasurer of the POA and who happened to be with the contingent, made unsuccessful efforts to change the entry from Greco-Roman to Free Style.

Naqi Butt, who was actually a participant in the heavyweight weightlifting event, was also deputed to act as coach of the Pakistan wrestling team. He also acted as referee in two competitions against the Dutch in Holland, which the Pakistan team fought before going to London.

HOCKEY BRINGS ABOUT SOME CHEER

Pakistan went unbeaten through the third group in the hockey competition, and it was not Holland who gave them most trouble. Belgium and France held Pakistan to scores of 2-1 and 3-1 respectively, whereas Holland were beaten 6-1. The Dutch team, however, qualified for the semifinals by winning their remaining games.

Holland showed much better form against India in the semifinal than they had done against Pakistan, and many spectators thought they deserved to draw instead of being beaten 2-1 after being two goals down at half-time. In the other match, Britain beat Pakistan 2-0, after a desperately hard game. Both goals were scored by Adlard during the second half.

India won their fourth successive Olympic hockey title -- their first as an independent nation -- after displaying convincing form from start to finish of the tournament, winning all their five games in the course of which they scored 25 goals and conceded only two. Their previous three gold medals had been earned in Amsterdam (1928), Los Angeles (1932) and Berlin (1936).

Although they had been so convincingly beaten when the teams met in the preliminary groups, Holland first held Pakistan to a draw of 1-1 in the match for third place, and then won the replay by 4-1. They might well have won the match at the first attempt for, after being a goal down at half-time, they were so much on top in the second half that it was surprising they could score only once.

On the form they displayed at their best, Holland might well have proved more than a match for Britain had the draw worked out differently. Pakistan ended at fourth place, a trend that they were able to change for the better by the time the 1956 Olympic Games were played in Melbourne.

They were a welcome addition to the competitors though and might well have finished among the medal winners on their first appearance instead of being relegated to fourth place after a replay. There were 13 entrants in all at London 1948.

The Pakistam hockey team comprised the following: Ali Iqtidar Shah Dara (captain), M. Anwar Beg Moghal, Mohammad Niaz Khan, Abdul Razzak, Shahzada Khurram, Shah Rukh, Abdul Hameed, Hamidullah Burki, Mohammad Taqi, Abdul Qayyum Khan, Abdul Aziz, Mahmood-ul-Hasan, Masud Ahmed, Mukhtar Bhatti, S.M. Saleem, Rehmatullah, M. De Mello, A.G. Khan and Aziz-ur-Rehman.

Basir Ali Sheikh was the manager of the team while O.B. Nazareth went to London as the hockey side's assistant manager.





















































































olympics
Hockey brings some cheer as Pakistan appear in their first Olympiad
No medals were won at the 1948 London Olympic Games – hockey though came close to a bronze at least before losing out to Holland in the third place play-off
By Gul Hameed Bhatti
As a newly independent country, having separated from British India, Pakistan was just 350 days old when it began its Olympic Games campaign in London when the 14th Olympiad was launched at the Great Britain capital on July 29, 1948. Sixteen days later, when the Games came to an end, Pakistan was celebrating its first anniversary as Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's new Muslim nation in the Indo-Pak sub-continent.

hockey
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It also personifies unity in diversity. Muslims are in a majority but they constitute only 55% of the population. The rest is mainly composed of ethnic Chinese and people of Indian origin. The minorities enjoy full rights and in the true literal sense.

Bridge enjoys a bright future in Pakistan
'Bridge is a game of communication between a pair of players, playing partnership and their opposing pair. A contract is decided during the first phase that is called the auction'
By Ghalib Mehmood Bajwa
The game of bridge has been played in Pakistan for many decades but even then there are some reservations among Pakistan people regarding the image and status of the game. Many consider it a game of only aged people while various quarters believe that bridge is just another name for gambling. But the actual situation is quite different.

Women's Asia Cup:
Pakistan damsels in distress
One is not totally disappointed in them, as with the passage of time and with increased international exposure they will definitely improve
By Gul Nasreen
Women cricket is lagging far behind the men's version of the game in our country where cricket is the most popular game. At the Sub-continent's level, our cricket damsels cannot match the play of other regional teams -- India and Sri Lanka -- who are currently ranked second and fifth respectively in the world ranking.



olympics
Hockey brings some cheer as Pakistan appear in their first Olympiad

No medals were won at the 1948 London Olympic Games – hockey though came close to a bronze at least before losing out to Holland in the third place play-off

By Gul Hameed Bhatti

As a newly independent country, having separated from British India, Pakistan was just 350 days old when it began its Olympic Games campaign in London when the 14th Olympiad was launched at the Great Britain capital on July 29, 1948. Sixteen days later, when the Games came to an end, Pakistan was celebrating its first anniversary as Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's new Muslim nation in the Indo-Pak sub-continent.

On the sporting front, however, Pakistan didn't make any big waves in that first year of its being a free state. No medals were won at the 1948 London Olympic Games -- hockey though came close to a bronze at least before losing out to Holland in the third place play-off. In the seven disciplines that Pakistan was represented, the new nation's athletes finished only among the also rans, in almost all cases back at the very rear of their respective chosen events.

Surely, it was nothing to have been alarmed about. Of course, Pakistan had shared undivided India's sporting legacy for several decades prior to 1947 but, after independence, it literally had to pick up the pieces to become a sporting nation in its own right. The Quaid-e-Azam, the founder of the nation, among other things also provided a kickstart to the country's ambitions in sports by heading the campaign to inaugurate Pakistan's first 'Olympic Games' and national championships in various other disciplines as soon as it was possible to do so.

The Quaid-e-Azam, also the first Governor-General of Pakistan, declared the inaugural Pakistan Olympic Games open at the Polo Ground in Karachi, which now houses the Baradari in the Bagh-e-Quaid-e-Azam and the Pearl-Continental Hotel in one corner. The Governor-General House, which is now home to the Governor of the Sindh province, is situated right next to the ground.

A total of 140 athletes were represented in the 1948 Pakistan Olympics. Competitions were held in athletics -- both men and women took part, basketball, boxing, cycling, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling.

West Punjab won the overall championship. The Quaid-e-Azam donated a Challenge Shield from his private funds which bears his illustrious name.

The Quaid-e-Azam, addressing the athletes from all the provinces and states of Pakistan, had said: "I bid you welcome. My message to you is build up physical strength not for aggression, not for militarism, but for becoming fit, all your life and all the time, in every walk of life of your nation wherever you be and always to be a force for peace, international amity and goodwill. After these Games, you shall go to the World Olympiad at Wembley Stadium, London, representing us as messengers of our goodwill and my best wishes will go with you. Remember, to win is nothing. It is the effort and the spirit behind the effort that counts."



PAKISTAN SELECTS ITS CHAMPIONS FOR OLYMPIAD

Pakistan sent players for seven sporting disciplines at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. The number of athletes was 39 with the contingent comprising 54 persons including all the officials, etc. The Honourable Ahmad E.H. Jaffar, President of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), was the country's representative at the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Major S.A. 'Tooti' Hamid, a respected sports administrator and coach whose daughter Tahira Hamid was one of Pakistan's most versatile sportspersons and whose son Farooq Hamid played Test cricket for Pakistan as a fast bowler, was appointed as the Pakistan team's Chef de Mission.

There were only male members in the Olympics bound squad. There were five athletes in the track and field events. In addition, there were three boxers, two cyclists, 19 hockey players, four swimmers, two weightlifters and four wrestlers.

Almost all players chosen for the 1948 Olympiad were either champions of their respective events in the Pakistan Games or won medals of lower categories as compared to gold. Whether they were expected to repeat their feats in London is something not much is known about, but there was hope that they would all do well. In the end, hardly anyone fulfilled his individual promise, the standard at the Olympic Games was way above their heads. The story, sadly, continues today, even after 60 years have now gone by.

PAKISTAN ATHLETES BRING THE REAR

Most of the athletes finished last even in the heats of their chosen events. Mohammad Sharif Butt, who took second place in his 200 metres heat, qualified for the second round though, only to be banished to the last spot.

The athletics squad captain Zahur Ahmed Khan and Lt-Col Nazar Mohammad Malik were both entered in the shot put and discus throw events. Both failed to qualify for the finals. Zahur's shot put distance was not measured because during all his three throws, he lost his balance and overstepped the ring.

All three boxers were defeated at the first round stage, the referee stopping Alex Monterio's bantamweight fight inside the initial round when he faced India's B Lall. The two cyclists produced dismal results too.

Incidentally, Aftab Farrukh, winner of the 1,000 metres sprint at the 1948 National Championship, was not chosen in the Olympics squad. Aftab, now a retired judge, has recently become well known around the world as head of the Appellate Tribunal formed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to solve the Shoaib Akhtar case!

All swimmers sent by Pakistan to London finished at the very end in their different events in the pool. Weightlifters Mohammad Iqbal Butt and Mohammad Naqi Butt barely saved themselves from ending at the very bottom.

The wrestlers presented a sad story. They were unable even to compete at the Olympiad, because they had been entered by Major S.A. Hamid, the then Honorary Secretary of the POA who was in London actually as the Pakistan contingent's Chef de Mission, in the Greco-Roman style event and not in Free Style.

When this came to light Zafar Ali, the then treasurer of the POA and who happened to be with the contingent, made unsuccessful efforts to change the entry from Greco-Roman to Free Style.

Naqi Butt, who was actually a participant in the heavyweight weightlifting event, was also deputed to act as coach of the Pakistan wrestling team. He also acted as referee in two competitions against the Dutch in Holland, which the Pakistan team fought before going to London.



HOCKEY BRINGS ABOUT SOME CHEER

Pakistan went unbeaten through the third group in the hockey competition, and it was not Holland who gave them most trouble. Belgium and France held Pakistan to scores of 2-1 and 3-1 respectively, whereas Holland were beaten 6-1. The Dutch team, however, qualified for the semifinals by winning their remaining games.

Holland showed much better form against India in the semifinal than they had done against Pakistan, and many spectators thought they deserved to draw instead of being beaten 2-1 after being two goals down at half-time. In the other match, Britain beat Pakistan 2-0, after a desperately hard game. Both goals were scored by Adlard during the second half.

India won their fourth successive Olympic hockey title -- their first as an independent nation -- after displaying convincing form from start to finish of the tournament, winning all their five games in the course of which they scored 25 goals and conceded only two. Their previous three gold medals had been earned in Amsterdam (1928), Los Angeles (1932) and Berlin (1936).

Although they had been so convincingly beaten when the teams met in the preliminary groups, Holland first held Pakistan to a draw of 1-1 in the match for third place, and then won the replay by 4-1. They might well have won the match at the first attempt for, after being a goal down at half-time, they were so much on top in the second half that it was surprising they could score only once.

On the form they displayed at their best, Holland might well have proved more than a match for Britain had the draw worked out differently. Pakistan ended at fourth place, a trend that they were able to change for the better by the time the 1956 Olympic Games were played in Melbourne.

They were a welcome addition to the competitors though and might well have finished among the medal winners on their first appearance instead of being relegated to fourth place after a replay. There were 13 entrants in all at London 1948.

The Pakistam hockey team comprised the following: Ali Iqtidar Shah Dara (captain), M. Anwar Beg Moghal, Mohammad Niaz Khan, Abdul Razzak, Shahzada Khurram, Shah Rukh, Abdul Hameed, Hamidullah Burki, Mohammad Taqi, Abdul Qayyum Khan, Abdul Aziz, Mahmood-ul-Hasan, Masud Ahmed, Mukhtar Bhatti, S.M. Saleem, Rehmatullah, M. De Mello, A.G. Khan and Aziz-ur-Rehman.

Basir Ali Sheikh was the manager of the team while O.B. Nazareth went to London as the hockey side's assistant manager.



FIFTY-NINE NATIONS AT 1948 OLYMPIAD

The 1948 Summer Olympics, the Games of the XIV Olympiad, were held after a hiatus of 12 years caused by World War II. These were the first Summer Olympics since the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The 1940 Games had been scheduled for Tokyo, and later Helsinki as WWII started; the 1944 Games had been provisionally planned for London.

The number of nations participating was 59. There were 4,104 athletes comprising 3,714 men and 390 women, who competed in 136 events in 17 sports.

By comparison, the Olympic Games being held in Beijing, China, in August this year will have approximately 10,500 athletes participating in 302 events in 28 sports. The number of nations represented may go as high up as 205.

The 1948 London Games were the first to be shown on home television, says the Olympic Movement's official website, although very few people in Great Britain actually owned sets.

A women's canoeing event was held for the first time -- and won by Karen Hoff of Denmark. A 17-year-old American Bob Mathias won the decathlon only four months after taking up the sport. He is the youngest athlete in Olympic history to win a men's athletics event.

Two athletes who were Olympic champions in 1936 managed to defend their titles twelve years later. They were Ilona Elek of Hungary in women's foil fencing and Jan Brzak of Czechoslovakia in the canoeing Canadian pairs 1,000m.

Fanny Blankers-Koen of the Netherlands was the world record holder in six events, but, according to the rules of the day, was only allowed to enter four. She won all four: the 100m dash, the 80m hurdles, the 200m and the 4x100m relay.

Concert pianist Micheline Ostermeyer of France won both the shot put and the discus throw. Karoly Takacs was a member of the Hungarian world champion pistol shooting team in 1938 when a grenade shattered his right hand -- his pistol hand. Takacs taught himself to shoot with his left hand and, ten years later, he won an Olympic gold medal in the rapid-fire pistol event.

United States of America (USA) topped the medals list with a total of 84 -- 38 gold, 27 silver and 19 bronze. Sweden were second with 44 (16-11-17) and France third with 29 (10-6-13).

The top 10 teams medals-wise included Hungary 27, Italy 27, Finland 20, Turkey 12, Czechoslovakia 11, Switzerland 20 and Denmark 20.

NEXT WEEK: Pakistan at 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki.






 
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