Pak cycling squad to participate in Delhi race
Islamabad: An eight-member squad from Pakistan is all set to cross the Wagah border on Friday to participate in the Delhi Cycle Race on September 11.
"The Indian ministry gave clearance to our cyclists yesterday to chip in the Tour de Delhi Cycle Race, while our government has already allowed them to take part in the event," Idris Haider Khawaja, Secretary Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF), said.
He said the Pakistan outfit was well prepared for the event and expected good results from the team.
"Our boys practiced at night during Ramazan to beat the heat and maintain the sanctity of the holy month," Khawaja said.
Besides Pakistan and hosts India, cyclists from Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and South Korea will also feature in the one-day race, spanning 105 kms.
"There are different categories. However, we are participating only in the International Elite Men category," Khawaja was quoted as saying by the state-run APP news agency.
Khawaja was also optimistic that the cyclists will help forge better ties between the neighbours.
"Our cyclists are taking with them a message of goodwill and we hope that cycling will pave the way for more and more sporting ties," he insisted.
The squad comprises cyclists Nisar Ahmed, Ibrahim, Mohammad Sabir, Haroor-ur-Rasheed, Mohammad Sahkeel and Asif Ali apart from manager Kamran Amin and coach Javed Khan.
India had severed the sporting ties with Pakistan in the aftermath of terrorist attacks on Mumbai in November 2008, the worst-hit being cricket. However, Pakistan have been pressing hard for a tour of India next year.