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First batch of Pakistan’s Olympic squad leaves for Tokyo

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LAHORE: While the dope test of eight Pakistan athletes participating in the forthcoming Olympics came negative, the first batch of the country’s Tokyo-bound contingent left for Japan on Thursday night.

According to a press release issued on Friday by the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), which also handed cheques of Rs100,000 to each athlete of the Pakistan contingent says that the dope test result of weightlifter Talha Talib was awaited as it was taken late on July 21 after the confirmation of his participation on quota system.

The athletes who cleared the dope test include Arshad Nadeem (javelin throw), Najma Parveen (200m race), Mahoor Shahzad (badminton singles event), Gulfam Joseph (shooting, 10m Air Pistol), Mohammad Khalil Akhtar (25m Rapid Fire Pistol), Ghulam Mustafa Bashir (25m Rapid Fire pistol), Bisma Khan (swimming, 50m freestyle) and Syed Mohammad Haseeb Tariq (100m freestyle).

Meanwhile the first six-member batch of the Pakistan contingent, including Mahoor, Gulfam, Mustafa, Khalil, Bismah and Haseeb, left for Tokyo from Islamabad on Thursday night.

Eight athletes clear dope test

The second batch will leave on July 21 followed by the last one on July 22. The games are scheduled to start from July 23.

The Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) kept the players and officials in a bio-secure bubble (BsB) established at the Islamabad Sports Complex. The PCR tests of the contingent members were also conducted before their departure as per international protocols and requirements.

“In view of the extraordinary circumstances, due to Covid pandemic, the PSB extended its full support to the POA in every respect especially in travelling arrangements, lodging and boarding of the players. Special travelling kits, uniforms and liveries have also been provided well before time to the contingent members,” the PSB said in a statement.

Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2021

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