LAHORE: Manger of the national cycling team which participated in the Asian Championship, Moazzam Ali Khan Monday said that Pakistan failed to win a medal in the Asian championship recently held in Thailand due to lack of facilities at home and other factors.
“We are far behind in comparison with the other Asian countries and in my opinion at least 10 to 15 years long organized efforts are needed to win a medal in the Asian premier cycling activity”, he told APP here.
A 6-member team comprising four men and two female cyclists participated in the Asian championship and returned home empty hands after showing dismal performance in the road events. Pakistan team did not take part in track events.
“In my report which I will be sending to the Pakistan Cycling Federation I have clearly mentioned that there is dire need to tape talent at early stage and its grooming under a long term plan besides improving the existing cycling infrastructure”, said the team manager.
“What to talk about the standard of the elite Asian cycling nations they are far superior in every aspect of the game”, he said adding “They have the most modern cycling academies and velodromes to prepare their riders for the track events and world best coaches along with physiologists, physical trainers and diet and nutritionists experts are attached with them to achieve excellence in the game”.
Moazzam who is also the President of Punjab Cycling Association said Pakistani riders failed to show any good performance in the road events in the presence of riders from thirty five Asian countries because they lacked in technique and stamina which are prerequisites of the game.
“Our riders are without basic facilities of the game, they don’t have modern cycling facilities, their bikes are inferior, their technique is old and in such circumstances expecting a medal at Asia level is just day dreaming nothing”, said Moazaam himself a former international cyclist.
He emphasized the need to establish a national cycling academy where youthful riders of ten to twelve years of age be trained besides getting education and they should be given ample chance to participate in the Asian junior cycling events once they become good cyclists at the age of eighteen.
“It is the only way to progress ahead otherwise we will keep struggling in the international events and our participation in such events will not serve any purpose”, he said.
Moazaam said Pakistan was rich of cycling talent but unfortunately that talent was being wasted due to lack of resources. “Pakistan cycling federation alone cannot achieve the task of promotion of the game and to produce good results”,he added.