LAHORE: A five-member Pakistan sailing squad and a 12-member volleyball team will be the first to proceed to China on September 14 to feature in the 19th Asian Games slated to be held in Hangzhou from September 23 to October 8.
The sailing event will be held at the Ningbo Xiangshan Sailing Centre from September 20 to 27. The national squad will return on September 28. Pakistani sailors will feature in four events: three individual and one double.
In the 470 class Nadine Xerxes Avari and Mehboob will feature. In the ILCA 7 open category Muzammil Hussain will feature while in the ILCA 4 Under-18 boys event Raphael Javed will flex his muscles and in the ILCA Under-18 girls event Zoya Asad Ali will showcase her skills.
“The team is training hard,” Pakistan Sailing Federation (PSAF) secretary Mohammad Akram Tariq told The News. “But we spend time here and the rest of teams spend time in Europe and feature in international events. We are undergoing training within our available resources,” he said. “The crew is undergoing training in open sea in front of Clifton,” he said.
Pakistan men’s volleyball team will also leave for Hangzhou on September 14. The team comprises Abdul Zaheer, Hamid Yazma, Farooq Haider, Murad Khan, Murad Jehan, Mohammad Hammad, Musawar Khan, Nasir Ali, Usman Faryad Ali, Mubashar Raza, Kashif Javed and Afaq Khan.
The team is undergoing training at Islamabad under the Brazilain coach Issanaye Ferraz. The men’s volleyball event will be held from September 19 to 26. Pakistan are in Group D with Chinese Taipei and Mongolia.
Pool A consists of hosts China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Defending and consecutive two-time champions Iran are in Pool B together with Nepal and Bahrain while Pool C features Korea, India and Cambodia.
Pool E comprises Qatar, Thailand and Hong Kong China while Japan are in Pool F together with Indonesia, Philippines and Afghanistan. Teams will be engaged in the pool round-robin preliminaries from September 19 to 21. Only top 2 teams from each pool will advance to round of last 12, with qualified teams contesting cross matches (B1 vs E2, A2 vs F1, A1 vs F2, B2 v E1, C1 vs D2, C2 v D1). The six winning teams will next fight for ranking 1-6, with the remaining 6 losers relegated to ranking 7-12.
On September 19 Kyrgyzstan will begin their first-round campaign against Kazakhstan in Pool A at China Textile City Sports Center Gymnasium, followed by another Pool B match between Nepal and Bahrain and the Pool C encounter between India and Cambodia. The other Day 1 action sees Pakistan challenge Mongolia in Pool D and Thailand take on Hong Kong, China in Pool E at Linping Sports Center Gymnasium, while Japan face Afghanistan and Indonesia play Philippines in Pool F at Deqing Sports Center Gymnasium.