Karachi (Web Desk): The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) has finalised the names of the 262-member delegation including athletes and officials for 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
This event will be held from September 23, 2023 to October 8, 2023 and athletes from 45 Asian countries will compete in 481 different categories in 40 sports.
The Pakistani delegation of 190 athletes includes 137 men and 53 women who will compete in 24 different sports, along with a total of 72 team officials and administrators.
Pakistan's delegation at this prestigious international sporting event will be lead by javelin throw sensation Arshad Nadeem, who will carry the nation's flag as the flag bearer along with Nida Dar the captain of women's cricket team.
Pakistan's largest representation in the Asian Games will be in Cricket, with 39 players and officials in both men's and women's competitions, is ready to present their country.
Following, Athletics will have 22 representatives participating in various categories. Hockey, national sport, will see 21 members making their mark in the 2023 Asian Games.
Pakistani delegation was supposed to compete in 25 different sports but now one category is excluded of the list as the country's E-sport team announced their withdrawal from the competition.
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. Only one athlete, Mujadid Awan will represent Pakistan in Fencing.
Najia Rasool, who was named the official with the Taekwondo squad earlier, has also withdrawn after the athlete Fatima tul Zehra was ruled out of the Asian Games due to an injury.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, have also complicated the matter with their withdrawal from the final list. Also, three Hockey coaches Rehan Butt, Ayaz Mehmood, and Saqlain have also withdrawn from the final squad list after their removal by Pakistan Hockey Federation.
Earlier, the provisional list of 280 athletes and officials along with 14 other delegation officials was sent to the Asian Games Organizing committee for accreditation of players.
Meanwhile, the POA has named Hamdan Nazir who is president of the Pakistan Rowing Federation and VP of Railways Sports Board, as chef de mission of Pakistan’s delegation. Munir Ahmed is named deputy chef de mission.
The journey to the Asian Games for Pakistani athletes will begin soon, as the first batch comprising Sailing and Volleyball players and officials are scheduled to arrive in Hangzhou on September 15.
All eyes are now set on September 23rd when the Asian games will officially kick off, and Pakistan's athletes begin their quest for excellence and medals.