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Stage set for wrestling at National Hockey Stadium

Lahore: World known wrestler from Japan Antonio Inoki now Mouhammad Hussain in collaboration with the Punjab Government will be establishing first international freestyle wrestling academy at Lahore.

This announcement was made by Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan, chief organiser sports and Deputy Speaker Punjab and Inoki at a press conference here on Saturday. Usman Anwar, Director General Sports and Youth Affairs Punjab was also present on the occasion along with 10 other Japanese wrestlers who would be taking part in the Sports and Peace Festival Wrestling tomorrow, Sunday at National stadium under lights.

Inoki said that he would deliver peace message from Pakistan through the successful holding of wrestling event . “ By having world’s best grapllers in action in Lahore I will be promoting the freestyle game in Pakistan,” said Inoki.

“The Pakistan wrestlers of full of talent and all they need is proper training. I will dig out the talent and provide them freestyle training to the selected wrestlers so that they would compete at international level,” he added.

“I have been to Pakistan on four occasions during the period from 1976 to 1984. Now I was being asked not to visit Pakistan because of security threats but I have deep attachment with Pakistan so I said that I would like to see for myself that how much dangerous this country is,” he maintained. “ But everything is good here and we are enjoying our stay “.

He further stated that he has received great love and hostility from Pakistan people and also welcomed the Punjab government’s announcement of establishing a freestyle academy which he would fully patronize.

Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan highlighted the vision of Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif which is a step forward in the revival of international sports in Pakistan.

As part of the 60 years relations of Pakistan and Japan, Inoki is here with a team of 10 wrestlers to showcase the bright and positive image of the country.

He is also accompanied by Japanese media and some of their family members.

Rana Mashood also said that the academy would be established once its proper plan and layout is made.

The visiting wrestlers would lock horns in a freestyle wrestling at the National Hockey Stadium on December 2 at 5 pm. Nasir Bholu, one of the great wrestler of his time and member of Bholu family would also be among the guests during the entire activity.

Rana Mashood informed that Pakistan wrestler would be trained by under Inoki’s expertise and they would compete with Japanese wrestlers during their next visit.

Earlier, Inoki and the team of 10 wrestlers visited the graves of Akram Pahlwan and Jhara Pahlwan at Mohni Road. He offered fateha and prayed for the departed souls for eternal peace. Inoki also adopted 13 years old nephew of Jhara for freestyle wrestling training. He said that he will make Jhara’s naphew one of the best freestyle wrestler of the world.

In the morning Inoki and his team was accorded a warm reception at the Lahore airport and a large corps of journalist also covered his arrival.

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