Know your Olympians: Mahoor carries Pakistani flag, hopes of medal in Tokyo

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“It is simply a immense honour for america that our girl volition beryllium the flag-bearer astatine the Olympics ceremony. I americium conscionable finishing up enactment truthful that I tin get location to ticker the ceremony,” Pakistan badminton subordinate Mahoor Shahzad’s begetter Muhammad Shahzad, the planetary rower and erstwhile badminton subordinate himself expressed his joyousness arsenic the 2020 Olympic Games start.

“Not lone is she the archetypal Pakistani to play astatine the Olympics’ badminton event, she is besides doing the honours of bearing the flag. It is simply a imagination travel true,” Shahzad tells The Express Tribune, adding that it is simply a large feat for immoderate Pakistani to adjacent find a spot successful the Olympics.

The 24-year-old volition beryllium bearing the Pakistan emblem astatine the ceremonial with shooter Muhammad Khalil Akhtar successful Tokyo. Pakistan is fielding a squad of 10 athletes successful six sports, and Mahoor was selected to beryllium holding the emblem astatine the prestigious ceremony.

“It is huge. These athletes are the apical athletes from Pakistan, she is among them and from these athletes she is selected to beryllium a flag-bearer. I can’t beryllium happier than this arsenic a father. Our girl is selected from the best.”

Mahoor had been representing Pakistan for the past mates of years. She roseate to prominence with her performances astatine the nationalist level archetypal and past striving to find the information astatine the planetary events. She was a portion of Pakistan contingent successful the 2018 Asian Games and besides the 2019 South Asian Games successful Nepal.

She was ranked 133 successful the satellite till June, and her begetter believes that her performances person made him proud, not conscionable arsenic a begetter but besides arsenic a antheral successful Pakistan and a badminton player.

“I consciousness precise arrogant of her, due to the fact that nary badminton player, adjacent among men, qualified for the Olympics before. But she did. I tin accidental that a miss did bushed the boys successful this,” said Shahzad, arsenic helium looks backmost astatine Mahoor being diversion from a precise young property and playing with her older sister passim her childhood.

The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) had confirmed Mahoor’s spot successful the Tokyo Olympics past period and the POA main Lt Gen (R) Syed Arif Hasan congratulated her connected the achievement.

“Lt Gen (R) Syed Arif Hasan President POA felicitated Mahoor Shahzad and appreciated the POA Secretariat and Wajid Ali from Pakistan Badminton Federation for scrupulously pursuing the process and completion of formalities. Pakistan Olympic Association has duly informed IOC and BWF of acceptance of Invitational Place,” the authoritative connection was issued.

Mahoor volition beryllium playing against Japanese shuttler Akane Yamaguchi successful her opening lucifer connected July 24 successful the women’s singles lawsuit astatine the Games .Yamaguchi is ranked 5th successful the satellite portion Mahoor ‘s ranking is 133.

‘Always looking for competition’

Being Mahoor’s archetypal coach, her begetter Shahzad believes that it volition beryllium a pugnacious task to triumph the archetypal match. “She is taking connected satellite fig five, which is not easy. I retrieve this happened with Jahangir Khan successful squash that helium mislaid the trials for Asian Games and aboriginal went to the lawsuit connected his ain and won the title. Sometimes it is simply a substance of timing and luck and possibly Mahoor tin get into that portion excessively erstwhile the lucifer takes place. But I tin accidental that connected paper, her hostile is stronger. However, Mahoor volition person a batch to larn from the biggest athletes successful the satellite erstwhile she volition beryllium seeing them each day, eating nutrient with them, absorbing their routines and interacting with them. She volition person a batch to larn from this exposure,” said Shahzad.

He recalled that arsenic a begetter helium would marque definite that helium kept his daughters progressive and for Mahoor helium feels her carnal fittingness volition assistance her successful the Games.

He recalled that adjacent arsenic an under-13 player, she and her older sister were apical athletes successful badminton connected nationalist level on with under-16 property groups.

“She truly took to badminton, but she was besides precise bully astatine athletics. We believed astatine 1 constituent that she tin beryllium a runner, to a constituent that she and her sister would marque america halt the car astatine immoderate region from the location conscionable truthful that these 2 could tally and compete. She was ever looking for contention athletically and adjacent bushed maine successful moving excessively erstwhile she was young,” said Shahzad astir Mahoor, who studied astatine the Institute of Business Administration Karachi. “She competed astatine the nationalist level and won bronze successful moving too. But she loves badminton.”

He added that with involvement successful sports from childhood, helium enrolled Mahoor successful a badminton club. She chiefly practiced astatine DHA Creek Club and Sunset club, with section coaches.

“It was a substance of putting her successful the nine and academy. We person had antithetic coaches but arsenic a begetter and a manager I ever kept an oculus connected the progress. We had had large coaches to bid her. She has spent astatine slightest 4 to six hours each day, 2 to 3 successful the greeting and past successful the evening to bid for the Games. I consciousness this volition wage off,” said Shahzad, hoping that the Olympics whitethorn bring amended prospects for Pakistani athletes, arsenic adjacent competing successful the Games is an accomplishment fixed that athletes overseas person amended resources successful spot to advancement successful sports.

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