Lahore: The Punjab athletics and swimming teams offered excellent performances in Islamabad and Karachi only due to the talent that emerged in recent first phase of Punjab Youth Festival, this was stated by Punjab Minister for Sports and Education Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan at the opening ceremony of Inter-Provincial Youth hockey, table tennis and badminton championships at the National Hockey Stadium on Tuesday. Director General Sports Board Punjab (SBP) Usman Anwar was also present on this occasion. The players of all the team were introduced to chief guest on this occasion.
“It is quite heartening that Punjab athletes are excelling at every platform. And insha-Allah that time is not far when these young athletes will perform and win laurels at international level,” he expressed his hope. He further said that youth of the country has learnt a lot during competitions of PYF and PISF Phase I.
Director General, SBP, Usman Anwar while addressing the ceremony said that SBP will hold Punjab International Sports Festival Phase II in September/October to enhance the sporting skills of youth further. “More than 55 countries have confirmed their participation in the grand event.” To another question, DG SBP told that not only kabaddi but all the talented players will be sent abroad for training.
Meanwhile,the Inter-Provincial Youth hockey, table tennis and badminton championships kicked off on Tuesday. Punjab Minister for Sports and Education Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan and Director General Sports Board Punjab (SBP) Usman Anwar inaugurated the event at National Hockey Stadium.
In the opening match of Under-14 Boys Hockey Championship, Sindh thrashed Fata by 3-1 at National Hockey Stadium. Quais and Rao Shahid struck 2 and one goal each for the winning team while Shahzaib netted solitary goal for Fata.
The badminton and table tennis competitions were held at SBP Nishtar Park Sports Gymnasium Hall. In the opening encounter of U-16 Girls Badminton Championship, Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) toppled Fata by 2-0. Javeria emerged winner by 21/4 and 21/7 against Kainat Ali in the first singles match while in the doubles clash, Javeria and Kiran trounced Kainat and Shabnam by 21/18 and 21/11.
The second match of U-16 Girls Badminton Championship was played between Islamabad and Sindh. Islamabad edged out Sindh by 2/1. The first singles match went to Muqaddas from Islamabad who defeated Karishna 21/17, 22/24 and 21/14. However, Sindh bounced back in the doubles match when Karishna and Shireen beat Islamabad’s Muqaddas and Irum by 21/18 and 21/15. In the next singles match, Islamabad’s Habiba routed Sindh’s Shireen by 21/19 and 23/21.
In the Boys U-14 Badminton Championship, Sindh drew the first blood against AJK by 2/0. Danial from Sindh remained triumphant in the first singles match against AJK’s Moiz by 21/4 and 21/7 while Sindh wrapped up the contest in the doubles when Danial and Ahmed dumped AJK’s Moiz and Habib by 21/02 and 21/03.
Punjab, Sindh, AJK and KPK qualified for the semi-final stage in the U-16 Girls Table Tennis Championship. In all five matches were played in the event.
In the first match, Punjab outplayed Islamabad by 3-0. Punjab’s Maria, Fatima Khan and Rimsha toppled Islamabad’s Iram, Ume Habiba and Kainat in their one-sided matches.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Fata’s match also turned out to be a one-sided affair. KPK won this match comfortably by 3-0. KPK’s Kainat, Hajra and Amina thrashed Fata’s Sania Bibi, Afshan and Humaira in their respective matches.
Sindh also emerged winners 3-0 against Islamabad. For Sindh, Haleema, Hareem and Mehak downed Islamabad’s Iram, Ume Habiba and Kainat convincingly. In the fourth clash, AJK thrashed Fata with ease. Madiha, Tania and Saba thrashed their Fata opponents Sania Bibi, Afshan and Humaira quite comfortably.
The last contest of the day went to Punjab who defeated Sindh by 3-1. Maria defeated Sindh’s Haleema and Mehak in her two matches and Fatima toppled Mehak. Hareem of Sindh won her clash against Ume Farwa of Punjab.