Winter Games: Pakistan to send first athlete for cross-country event

KARACHI: Pakistan will be making history at the Winter Games as the country will be sending Syed Human for the cross-country event for the first time, while 2014 Winter Olympian Muhammad Karim also qualified for the alpine skiing event.

The Winter Games will kick-off in Pyeonchang, South Korea on February 9 and the two-man squad will leave on February 5 from Islamabad.

According to Ski Federation of Pakistan (SFP) secretary Air Commodore Shahid Nadeem, the athletes are being trained by foreign coaches in Naltar and have competed in several International Ski Federation (FIS) races over the last year to get the exposure required for the Winter Games.

“This is the first time we’ll be sending an athlete for the cross-country skiing event and that is huge for us,” Nadeem told The Express Tribune. “We also have Karim and both athletes are working hard. We are looking for good results in Korea.”

The 26-year-old Human has had a great run in his recent seven FIS races, first competing in three races in Finland before also participating in four races in Turkey.

On the other hand, Karim competed in the slalom and giant slalom events in Turkey in December as well as in the first week of this month.

Both Human and Karim belong to Naltar.

They were also scheduled to compete at the FIS race on their home slopes, but they were cancelled due to the lack of snowfall.

Pakistan sent its first athlete to the Winter Games in 2010 when they sent Muhammad Abbas, while Karim became the second Pakistani athlete to participate in the games when he did so in 2014.

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