ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Tanveer Ahmed made history this week by winning the first-ever silver medal in the World Archery Para Championships held at the Dubai Club for People of Determination, said the World Archery Federation.
This is the first time two visually impaired Pakistani archers have participated in the world championship. Previously, Ahmed and his teammate Waleed Aziz had not contested a single tournament outside their country.
"We came here with the hope of participation so the silver medal is a bonus, something more than what I expected," Ahmed was quoted on the federation's website. "It is definitely a proud moment for me and my entire team to win the first medal for Pakistan in visually impaired archery. I want to work harder now and take the gold next time."
Ahmed displayed an impressive performance during the championship before securing a place in the final competition where he was defeated by the world number two Ruben Vanhollebeke of Belgium.
The Pakistani archers had set up their training camp in the parking lot of a sports complex in Rawalpindi with only basic equipment available to them while preparing for the global contest.
"Initially we have done a lot of work; right from the set up to training," Ahmed told the archery federation earlier this week, adding: "Now at times, we get small funds from various foundations."
Pakistani officials working with the National Paralympic Committee told Arab News before the departure of the team that para-sports needed to be "organized systematically" in the country.
"An institutional framework should be made," said one of them who did not want to be identified. "Policy should be made and this should be regularized."
Ahmed, who dedicated his medal to his family and coach Muhammad Ijaz, said he always wanted to compete in the world championships after starting para-archery in 2017.
He added it was now his hope that the sport would be included in the Paralympics in the coming years.
"Dubai 2022 has given us great exposure and we are talking to the top players here, learning lot of new technique and tactic," he maintained. "After returning home, we plan to go to other provinces and share our experiences from here with the young players."