GUWAHATI: Pakistan on Saturday opened its medal count by grabbing two bronze in women’s cycling (30km) and men’s weightlifting (56kg) events on the first day of the 12th South Asian Games in Guwahati, India.
Sahiba Bibi, in women’s 30km individual time trial competition, clocked 50:10.598 to secure the third spot.
Tourangbam Bidyalaxmi and Manipuri Elangbam Chaoba Devi of India won gold and silver in time of 49:24.573 and 49:31.311 respectively.
Men’s 56kg weightlifting event saw Pakistan’s Abdullah Ghafoor clinching bronze as Bangladesh’s Mizanur Rahoman came second with silver and Gururaja of India take gold.
Before departing for the Games, Ghafoor, Pakistan’s national weightlifting champion, hoped to serve the country to the best of his abilities in continuation of what he termed as a ‘family tradition’.
Ghafoor’s family has been a great servant of Pakistan in the sport, with his father, Abdul Ghafoor, winning silver in the weightlifting competition of the 1970 Commonwealth Games in the United Kingdom. His elder brother, Ishtiaq Ghafoor, too, also has four South Asian Games silver medals to his name.
It turned out to be an all-India day as their athletes topped the medal tally with six gold and three silver. Sri Lankan athletes trailed behind with seven medals in total: one gold, four silver and two bronze.
Pakistan and Bangladesh were on the third and fourth sport with two bronze each, while Nepal at fifth with a single bronze.
As many as 301 Pakistani athletes are participating in 20 disciplines of the Games.