Usman, Zainab strike gold for Pakistan | The Express Tribune



Pakistani cyclists pulled off incredible performances on Thursday as Usman Qamar continued his brilliance to win his second gold medal and Zainab Raza also finished first at the Special Olympics World Games taking place in Berlin.

Both Usman and Zainab were competing in the 2km time-trial events for individual athletes.

Usman clocked 5 minutes and 2.12 seconds to earn first place, leaving behind Czech Republic’s Petr Konecny and Germany’s Robert Isenheim in the men’s 06 category. Earlier, Usman won the 5k road race event.

Zainab made her mark in the Females 07 category. She covered the 2km distance in six minutes and 49.29 seconds.  She out-peddled fellow Pakistani Zunaira Bi with a difference of 4.61 seconds. Zunaira took the silver medal with a time of six minutes and 53.90 seconds, and Poland’s Marta Henek came third with seven minutes and 14.91 seconds.

With two more wins, Pakistan lifted their gold medal tally to six.

The Lahore-based Zainab had been training to compete at the World Games for the last two years and had been determined to perform well when she finally got the chance.

She trained with her coach Maham Tariq. The duo trained regularly at Baghe Jinnah, while her family fully supported her to pursue her dream of cycling at the Games.

“Zainab is extremely happy after winning the gold medal,” said the Special Olympics Pakistan (SOP) media manager. “Zainab has been incredibly grateful to her coach for all the hard work that was put into it. She is very happy that she won the medal for her country.”

Another cyclist Muhammad Safeer Abid Rizvi completed the 25km road race in 53 minutes and 34.85 seconds to take the silver medal.

Powerlifter Haider Ahmed grabbed the silver medal in squat lift. He added two more medals to it – a bronze in the bench press and another bronze in the deadlift.  He earned a silver medal as he lifted 250kgs in the overall total.

Pakistan’s Maria Manzoor improved her tally with a silver in women’s bench press event and a bronze medal for combined squat, bench-press, and deadlift with a total of 117.50 kgs +68kg category. 

Imtisham Danish and Adeel Khan finished third in the unified table tennis event after they defeated France 3-2 to bag the bronze medal.

Faiza Qamar and Iman Amir also captured the table tennis bronze medal with a 3-0 win against Saudi Arabia.

In other sports, Sana finished fourth in the 400m sprint in athletics. She clocked in one minute and 26.82 seconds.

Pakistan also defeated Paraguay 5-0 in the mixed hockey event. They reached the semi-finals after securing a 5-4 win against Bulgaria.

Sana came fourth with 1 minute and 26.82 seconds in the quarter-finals of the athletics 400m.

Swimmer Fatima Khan finished fifth in the 25m freestyle; all three Pakistani swimmers competing in their events bettered their records at the World Games.

Till the filing of this story, Pakistan had won six gold and as many silver and bronze medals.

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