Pakistani athlete Nargis Hamidullah from Quetta, Balochistan recently won the bronze medal in Karate competition at the Asian Games 2018.
Nargis’s win brings home the country’s first ever bronze medal.
She won the medal after overpowering Nepal’s Rita Karki in women’s +68kg Karate tournament. She defeated Chinese player in the first match to qualify for the medal fight.
Talking to Pakistan Today, the 19-year-old athlete said that she has been training in Karate since 2010 at Hazara Karate Academy under the teaching of Ghulam Ali Hazarvi. “I always wanted to do something big and I loved this sport,” she said, adding that winning a medal in Asian Games was one of her major dreams which came true.
Sharing the details of her career, Nargis said that until 2015, she was contesting at the national level from Balochistan team where I won silver medals. “In 2015, I became part of WAPDA team and since then I am the national champion in my category,” she added.
Talking about the sport in Pakistan, the young medalist said that funds given to Pakistan Karate Federation (PKF) are very minimal which affects the development of this sport. “To increase our international rankings, we have to participate in international premier leagues but lack of funds is the main hurdle in it,” she said, adding that Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) do support the athletes but they also face the same problem.
“In this regard, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has sponsored our two Karate players, Naseer and Saadi, who will take part in international tournaments so that their rankings are improved and they can qualify for the next Olympics,” she explained, adding that rankings matter most for the Olympics qualification.
She further explained that the Asian Games bronze medal will increase her rankings and to improve it further she has to take part in international premier leagues. “This is the only way to qualify for Olympics.”
Talking about her future plans, the athlete said that her next aim is to qualify for Olympics. “And I want to convert my bronze into a Gold medal in next Asian Games,” she added.
In her message to girls who want to pursue sports, Nargis said that gender should never be used as an excuse and as a hurdle in success. “In every walk of life, if girls give their best, they can achieve anything,” she concluded.