Pakistan makes women winners ‘ambassadors’

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday appointed gold-winning Pakistan women athletes Naseem Hamid and Sara Nasir sports ambassadors to honour their extraordinary success.

The 22-year-old Hamid became South Asia’s fastest woman by winning the 100-metre in the South Asian Federation Games (SAF) in Dhaka, while Nasir returned with a gold medal in Karate.

“President Zardari has appointed Naseem and Sara as ‘ambassadors of sports’ in recognition of their successes at the SAF Games and gave them one million rupees (11,777 dollars) each,” Sports Minister Ijaz Jakhrani told reporters.

Zardari received the athletes in Islamabad and praised their hard work which brought laurels to the country, said the minister.

Zardari advised the government to devise a policy framework whereby distinguished sportswomen above a certain threshold were sent abroad for training and coaching to further improve their skills for competing in international sports events.

Hamid told reporters: “I am overwhelmed by the president’s encouragement and it’s a matter of great happiness for me that he promised to send us for training abroad for future competitions.”

On Sunday, Hamid clocked 11.81 seconds to clinch gold in the 100-metre sprint in the SAF Games, becoming Pakistan’s first female athlete to win the race in the competition’s 26-year history.

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