ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s visually impaired archer Tanveer Ahmed flew to the Czech Republic on Monday to feature in the World Archery Para Championships 2023.
The week-long Championships that commenced in Pilsen on Monday will conclude on July 23.
The 39-year-old Tanveer claimed the first-ever silver medal for the country in the last edition of the championships that was held in Dubai last year. “That was my first appearance in the event and I returned home with a silver medal. Now I’m targeting another medal; hopefully gold this time,” Tanveer, who has low vision and shoots blindfolded, told APP on the phone.
Tanveer has won several medals in national and international competitions since taking on archery in 2017. Prior to that he was a blind cricketer where he showcased his talent for 16 years. “I’ve been a cricketer. But it is archery that gave me real recognition.”
Year 2022 has been one of success for him as he earned five international medals in it, including the first-ever mix team gold medal in Andorra International Open for VI Archery, silver medal in 30-metre individual event of VI Archery and bronze medal in 18-metre individual event of VI Archery in Andorra International Open for VI Archery, bronze medal in World Ranking Event & European Cup and silver medal in World Archery Para Championships. “I’m the only archer from Pakistan, who has won five medals in a calendar year,” he added.
He said he had been training hard for the World Archery Para Championships and believed he was fully fit to take on the challenge and emerge victorious. “My coach Muhammad Ijaz is a seasoned trainer. I wanted him to accompany me but he could not due to visa issues.”
“I will be competing in the event without my coach,” said Tanveer, who is being sponsored by the BARD Foundation for the event. “The BARD Foundation is also sponsoring me for World Blind Games where I will be again the only archer to represent my country.”
The 2023 World Games is the largest high-level international event for athletes with visual impairment, with more than 1250 competitors from 70 nations. The games, staged every four years, are the pinnacle of the international sporting calendar outside the Paralympic Games.
The sports taking place during the 2023 World Games include archery, chess, cricket, blind football, partially sighted football, women’s football, goalball, judo, powerlifting, showdown, tenpin bowling and tennis. Pakistan’s men blind cricket team is also scheduled to feature in the Games. ‑‑APP