ISLAMABAD: United Arab Emirates-based Sinan Ashfaq Ahmad presented himself with an early birthday gift by bagging a bronze medal for Pakistan at the inaugural World Taaekwondo Federation (WTF) Presidentâ€™s Cup, being held in Tashkent on Saturday. The student from the North American International School, Al Mizher, who turns 12 on Monday (today), made full use of the opportunity representing his native Pakistan at his first-ever international event. Competing in the -65 Cadets category, Sinan had a dream debut when he defeated his opponent from the host country in the quarter-finals before losing to Uzbekistanâ€™s Anarkulov Donierbek in the semi-final at the Universal Sports Palace. â€œIt is an amazing feeling to have a medal around my neck,â€ Sinan said. â€œLeaving for this competition, my intention was to get some vital international exposure. But here I am with a medal for my country and it feels like a dream come true,â€ he added.
Sinan and his elder brother Ammar had been selected to represent Pakistan after their participation in the Junior National Championships in Islamabad in October last year. Since then the two brothers had been preparing for their international debut under the close scrutiny of Zeyad Hammad Abu Zahieh, a 7th Dan Kukkiwon in Sharjah and Pakistan coach Nader Khan in Ras Al Khaimah. Organised by the Uzbekistan Taekwondo Association (UTA) with sanction from the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), the inaugural edition of the competition has brought together nearly 600 competitors from 25 nations from across the world. This was the first time that Sinan and his older brother Ammar, 14, have been given the nod to represent Pakistan. Competing in the junior boys -63 category, Ammar lost to Uzbekistanâ€™s Sharen Brazen who, in fact, went on to win the gold medal in his category.