ISLAMABAD: Just a day after teenaged Inayatullah became the youngest Pakistani wrestler to win a world championship, his teammate and mentor Muhammad Inam followed suit in the -90kg event at the Beach World Wrestling Championship in Dalyan, Turkey on Sunday. The 28-year-old Inam, a 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, lived up to the expectations by defeating an Irani opponent Pejman Fazlollah Tabar Naghrachi 2-1 in the final. The Pakistani wrestler had earlier defeated Pavlidis Theodosios in the semi-final and Petridis Christos in the quarter-final – both his knock-out game opponents were from Greece.
“It was a tough competition,” Inam, who became the first Pakistani to bag a Seniors World Championship, said. “The
final was definitely the most difficult match as Iran were the defending champions. I feel the support from back home helped my morale.”
The Gujranwala-based grappler had defeated two Greek wrestlers in the quarter-final and semi-final, whereas his first victim of the tournament was from Mexico. Following the accolade, Inam was quick to remind that his and others’ recent success came despite no national camps held or training facilities provided by the Pakistan Sports Board and that all the wrestlers have come this far largely on their own. “There was no national camp held,” he said. “It’s just that I train very hard and never take a day off. But the Asian Games gold and then this means it’s all been worth it.”
What makes Inam and Inayat’s twin feats all the more impressive is the fact that these two were the only wrestlers sent to Turkey. Hence, the Pakistani camp will return home with a 100 percent record. After what he’s done, Inam should be flying high, but knowing what likely awaits him back home is a source of disappointment. “People only care about cricket and ignore all the other sports,” he complained. “This event is definitely bigger than the ongoing Pakistan-Sri Lanka series that only has two nations. Ours was a World Championship. Let’s see what our people think about our achievement.”
Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) Chairman Syed Aqil Shah, congratulated the national heroes for making Pakistan proud. “The management of the PWF has made utmost efforts to promote wrestling and these gold medals are an outcome of years of dedication and visionary planning of the PWF management,” Shah said. “PWF is grateful for the support extended by the Pakistan Olympic Association and the Pakistan Sports Board for the national wrestlers,” he added.