Pakistan to field six paddlers in World Team Championship

ISLAMABAD: Six Pakistani paddlers will feature in the 2016 World Table Tennis Team Championship, scheduled to be staged at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from February 28 to March 6.

“Our six-member team, comprising three male and as many female paddlers will depart from Lahore Airport on February 26 to represent the country in the event,” Saiyid Muhammad Sibtain, president Pakistan Table Tennis Federation told APP on Tuesday.

The male outfit is comprised of seasoned Asim Qureshi, Faisal Ali and Sajjad Ali, while female team is consisted of Shabnam Bilal, Raheela Kashif and Maleeha Khursheed.

Khawaja Hassan Wadood would accompany the team as manager-cum-coach. He will also represent the country as delegate in the World Table Tennis Federation meeting.

Sibtain said Pakistan was fielding the same teams in World Championship, which represented the country at the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) in India.

Pakistan claimed silver at the SAG in women event, while in men’s event they narrowly missed the silver as the finished third after losing to Sri Lanka 3-2, hence ending up with a bronze medal.

He said that the federation was compelled to send senior players as there was a huge gap between senior and juniors. “Hopefully we’ll be able to develop a new strong team within two to three years but currently we are relying on seasoned paddlers as there are no fresh players to replace them.

Medals matter for us and they’re winning these for us. We can’t do without them for the time being,” he added.