Inam hopeful for 2020 Tokyo Olympics if gets chance for qualifiers

ISLAMABAD:Pakistan’s chances to reserve a berth in wrestling at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics can become bright provided country’s top wrestler Muhammad Inam gets the chance to feature in the upcoming qualifiers taking place early next year.

Inam, who was a double Commonwealth Games gold medalist (2010, 2018) in 84 and 86 kg freestyle, South Asian Games gold medalist and two-time World Beach Wrestling Champion, said he could finish at the top in the qualifiers to earn a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but was not getting any kind of support.

Having missed the Asian Championships earlier this year and the World Wrestling Championship in Kazakhstan from September 14 which were both qualifiers for the 2020 Olympics, Inam said the reason for not participating in the qualifiers was lack of funds, no proper training and his knee injury.

“No training camp was held for the past one year and I have been training at my own facility for the qualifiers but we lack funds for participation,” he said and added a grant of Rs 1.5 million was required to participate in the World Wrestling Championship.

Speaking about the remaining three qualifiers for the Olympics, Inam said the qualifiers would be held in February, March and April.

“Asian Wrestling Championship was scheduled to be held in India in February, then the two World Olympic Qualifiers would be held in March and April in China and Bulgaria, respectively,” he said.

Inam said if Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) could send him, another wrestler Muhammad Bilal and coach Sohail Rashid to Russia for training for the Olympic qualifiers, then the wrestlers would have bright chances to qualify for the mega event.

Inam, who was the first Pakistani to qualify for the World Beach Games to be held from October 12, said he deems to win a gold medal in the extravaganza but his participation remains in doldrums due to lack of funds.

When contacted, Pakistan Sports Board Director General Arif Ibrahim to shed light on the matter, his phone was switched off.