KARACHI: The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) has finalised a contingent of 262 athletes and officials for the upcoming Asian Games, which is scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China, from September 23, 2023.
The contingent includes 137 men and 53 women athletes, along with a total of 72 team and contingent officials. However, Pakistan will now compete in 24 sports, instead of 25 as the country’s E-sport team withdrew from the competition.
An official of POA confirmed to Geo News that the E-sport team informed them of their withdrawal; however, the team had not cited finances as the reason for its missing the continental sporting pinnacle.
“They withdrew after one of their members expressed inability to join them for Asian Games and following to that, they were unable to play a full team there,” the official said.
Earlier, the 12-member E-sport squad was named to represent Pakistan in the Asian Games.
However, the POA official confirmed that 5 athletes and 2 officials of the Fencing team withdrew from the Asian Games as they were unable to find sponsors. Pakistan will now be represented by only one athlete in Fencing — Mujadid Awan.
Najia Rasool, who was earlier named the official with the Taekwondo squad, has also been withdrawn after the athlete Fatima tuz Zehra was ruled out of the Asian Games due to an injury.
Gold player Yashal Shah, Rowing official Rizwan ul Haq, Swimming official Uzma Preto, and three Hockey coaches — Rehan Butt, Ayaz Mehmood, and Saqlain — who were removed by Pakistan Hockey Federation, are also withdrawn from the final squad list.
Earlier, the provisional list of 280 athletes and officials along with 14 other contingent officials was sent to the Asian Games Organizing committee for accreditation of players.
The biggest representation by Pakistan in the Asian Games will be from Cricket, which has named 39 players and officials for the extravaganza, in men’s and women’s competitions.
Athletics will be the second biggest representation with 22 players and officials representing in country in various disciplines followed by Hockey which has named 21 members to represent Pakistan at the Asian Games 2023.
Meanwhile, the POA has named Hamdan Nazir — the president of the Pakistan Rowing Federation and VP of Railways Sports Board — as chef de mission of Pakistan’s contingent. Munir Ahmed is named deputy chef demission.
The first batch of Pakistani athletes comprised of players and officials from Sailing and Volleyball will arrive in Hangzhou on 15th of September.