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Paris Olympics: Pakistan’s Hopes Diminish Without Talha and Nooh

Paris Olympics: Pakistan’s Hopes Diminish Without Talha and Nooh

Paris Olympics: Pakistan’s Hopes Diminish Without Talha and Nooh

Paris Olympics: Pakistan’s Hopes Diminish Without Talha and Nooh

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  • Pakistan Weightlifting Federation extends olive branch to Nooh Dastgir Butt.
  • Butt could pave the way to participate in the Olympic Qualifying rounds.
  • Final decision on the fate of four other weightlifters is expected soon.
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In a tumultuous period for Pakistani weightlifting, the suspension of Olympian Talha Talib and the political fallout with gold medallist Nooh Dastgir Butt has cast a shadow over the nation’s prospects at the 2024 Paris Olympics. However, a glimmer of hope emerges as the Pakistan Weightlifting Federation (PWF) extends an olive branch to Butt, signaling a possible comeback that could salvage the country’s chances.

Background:

Talha Talib, who gained recognition with a commendable fifth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics, is currently serving a ban for doping violations. On the other hand, Nooh Dastgir Butt, the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games gold medallist, finds himself unregistered by the PWF due to political issues.

The absence of these key athletes raises concerns about Pakistan’s ability to secure spots at the upcoming Olympics, with a reportedly mediocre crop of weightlifters lacking the prowess to compete on the world stage.

A Ray of Hope:

Amidst this uncertainty, a potential lifeline appears in the form of Nooh Dastgir Butt’s return to the weightlifting fold. The PWF, acknowledging Butt’s significance as a top heavyweight weightlifter, expresses its willingness to reinstate him if he resolves issues with the federation and adheres to its constitution.

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A senior PWF official emphasized, “Nooh is the most precious athlete, and the PWF’s doors are open for him if he resolves his issues with the federation and registers himself as per rules and regulations.”

The Path to Redemption:

Nooh Dastgir Butt recently missed the Hangzhou Asian Games due to political reasons after the PWF unregistered him for not attending trials. His potential return could pave the way for him to participate in the Olympic Qualifying rounds in the 102kg plus category.

To qualify directly for the Olympics, Nooh would need to participate in specific events, including the World Championship in Riyadh (already conducted in September), the World Cup in Thailand (scheduled for April 2-11, 2024), and at least three other qualifying tournaments from August 1, 2022, to April 28, 2024. While Nooh missed the Saudi Arabia World Championship, a chance remains for him through the Universality Place, requiring participation in at least two qualifying events within the specified timeline.

Pending Cases and CAS Involvement:

In addition to Talha Talib and Abu Bakar Ghani, currently serving bans for doping, the cases of four other weightlifters—Abdul Rehman, Farhan Amjad, Ghulam Mustafa, and Sharjeel Butt—have been referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). The charges against these athletes involve non-cooperation with the International Testing Agency’s doping team.

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A final decision on the fate of these four weightlifters is expected soon, adding another layer of complexity to Pakistan’s weightlifting landscape.

As Pakistan awaits resolution on these fronts, Nooh Dastgir Butt’s potential return stands as a beacon of hope for the nation’s Olympic aspirations, offering a chance to overcome the challenges and secure coveted spots at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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