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Three reasons to cheer these Pak grapplers

other Updated: Oct 01, 2010 00:17 IST
Shalabh Manocha
Shalabh Manocha
Hindustan Times
Commonwealth Games

Can anything be more important for an athlete than winning? Sometimes, there are things more important than winning as in the case of three Pakistan wrestlers who are here to take part in the Commonwealth Games. For the three siblings, Mohammad Ali, Mohammad Umar and Mohammad Salman from Gujranwala in the northeast province of Punjab in Pakistan, it is about a legacy and giving hope to fellow grapplers.

“Our grandfather, Peer Mohammad, was a wrestler and our family in Pakistan is recognised by his achievements in the sport. We have been lucky enough to carry the family tradition, and for us this is the most important thing,” said Umar, the eldest of the three who will compete in the 96kg weight category.

Ali, who is younger to Umar and will compete in the 74kg category, joined his brother in saying, “Yes, we want to win a medal here but there are things more important than that. In our case, it is a legacy which we have to carry forward.”

Ali added that Salman too wants to perform well in India and give back a reason to smile for the people back home who are suffering a lot because of the floods that caused havoc in Pakistan.

Umar also feels sad that his nation is mostly in the news for wrong reasons. “Yes, there are problems back home and I too feel upset about it, but as a sportsperson the least I can do is win a medal here and make my country proud.”

Ask them about one athlete who the men in green want to meet as they rush for their practice, and they say in unison “Sushil Kumar--- he is the world champion.”