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Tuesday Dec 10 2019

Pakistan, with 32 gold medals, rank fourth as South Asian Games conclude


KARACHI: Pakistan finished fourth on the points table as the South Asian Games' (SAG) 13th edition concluded in Kathmandu on Tuesday, bagging 32 gold, 41 silver, and 59 bronze medals. 

Pakistani athletes added one more gold medal, along with four silver ones, on the last day of the regional sports competition held in Nepal. The squash team — comprising Tayyab Aslam, Asim Khan, and Farhan Mehboob — defeated their Indian opponents to clinch gold in men’s championship.

Tayyab Aslam defeated his Indian counterpart, Harindar Pal Singh, in the first set of the squash final, with a score of 5-11, 11-6, 11-4, and 12-10 in 36 minutes. India then made a comeback to level the final, when Asim Khan lost to Pardhan 9-11, 11-4, 4-11, 11-5, and 4-11 in 34 minutes.

Then men's squash team defeated India to win their last gold medal in SAG. Photo:

Farhan Mehboob and Abhay Singh played the final, contesting for the last tournament's gold medal. Pakistan’s top squash player won the match comfortably with scores of 11-8, 12-10, and 11-5 in 34 minutes.

However, the women's squash team went down fighting 1-2 against Indian team in the final, earning a silver medal.

Pakistan’s Madina Zafar defeated India’s Vata Sanya 11-9, 13-11, and 11-7 after Muqadas Ashraf went down against India’s Kuruvilla Sunayana Sara. Faiza Zafar, however, could not finish the final with a win and was defeated 3-1 against Tanvi Khanna.

Pakistan also bagged silver in the mixed team judo competition, while boxers Syed Mohammad Asif and Gulzaib won silver for Pakistan in the 52kg boxing competition.

India dominated the SAG points table with 174 gold medals, with Nepal and Sri Lanka following with 51 and 40 golds, respectively.

Pakistan overall secured 32 gold medals — a tally that is more than the country's collective gold medals since the SAG's past two editions. Pakistan had won 19 in 2010 and 12 in 2016.

For Pakistan, karate was the most successful squad, winning six gold medals, followed by the athletics and weightlifting teams, which won five each.

The next edition of the South Asian Games will be held in Pakistan in 2021.