KARACHI: Four of the seven Pakistani boxers who are set to feature in the Islamic Games got byes in the preliminaries on Friday. They will directly play in the quarter-finals.
Syed Mohammad Asif, Arshad Hussain, Niamatulah and Awais Ali Khan were given byes in the first round of the event in which the entries of the boxers were not much high. So a boxer who clears the first hurdle directly qualifies for the quarter-finals. In 52 kg, Asif got bye and he will on May 16 face the winner of the bout between Zarip Jumayev of Turkmenistan and Azat Mahmetov of Kazakhstan. This fight will be played on Saturday (tomorrow).
In 49kg, which has also 12 entries, Pakistan’s Mohibullah will face Dayanch Annaseyid of Turkmenistan in the preliminaries (pre-quarter-finals) on Saturday (tomorrow).
In 60kg, Niamatulah got bye and he will meet on May 14 in the quarter-finals with the winner of the bout between Abdenacer Belaribi of Algeria and Ammar Karbalai of Iraq that takes place on Friday (today).
In 69kg, Arshad Hussain claimed bye in the preliminaries and he will on May 15 meet the winner of the bout to be held on May 14 between Abdelkabir Belassek of Morocco and Ilya Ochkin of Kazakhstan.
In 75 kg, Pakistan’s most promising youngster Tanvir Ahmed will lock horns with Traore Daouda of Mali in the preliminaries (pre-quarter-finals).
Awais got bye in the 81kg preliminaries. He recently qualified for the World Championships after beating India’s Manish Panwar in the box-off fight in Tashkent in the Asian Championships. He will on May 16 take on in the quarter-finals the winner of the fight between Rauf Rahimov of Azerbaijan and Mohd Pauzi Adli Hafidz of Malaysia on May 13.
In 64kg, Pakistan’s emerging boxer Suleman Baloch will clash in the preliminaries with Obada Alkasbeh of Jordon.
The event will last till May 18. Pakistan have made two changes in the squad that featured in the Asian Championships in Tashkent. Heavyweight boxer Sanaullah (91kg) and Gul Zeb (69kg) have been dropped. They have been replaced by Arshad (69kg) and Niamatulah (60kg), a former South Asian Games gold medallist.
Meanwhile, Pakistan volleyball team was scheduled to face hosts Azerbaijan in their Group A opener late Thursday night.
The Games, featuring athletes from more than 50 nations from the Islamic world, will be opened formally on Friday (today).