Pakistan’s Naseem Hameed: Fastest Woman In South Asia

KARACHI: It is an undeniable fact that, mostly, the real talent in sports comes from the poor strata of the society.

Pakistan’s sports history is laden with numerous examples where youngsters, who are brought up in an appalling economic environment with no proper nourishment, equipment, and facilities, are able to carve their niche in international circuit mainly due to their amazing willpower and determination.

Khan family in squash, majority of star cricketers, major chunk of hockey Olympians in the country, footballers, boxers and athletes, who earned international repute, mostly, came from the poor families.

It is not strange in the country like ours, where sports is considered a least important faculty, player with an astounding talent performs amazingly at the international level.

Another star in the name of Naseem Hameed pricked the conscience of the dead authorities on Monday, when she turned out to be a queen of the athletic track of the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka where she emerged as the fastest woman of South Asia by clocking 11.81 seconds in the 100m sprint of the South Asian Games.

This was the career-best feat of the Karachi-based athlete, who was also part of the bronze medallist 4×100m relay team of the country in the 10th South Asian Games held in Colombo in 2006.

She became the first Pakistani woman athlete to achieve a 100m gold, in the 26 year long history of the SAG and turned out to be the third lady after Rehana Kausar (high jump, gold, 1999 Kathmandu), and Shabana Akhtar (long jump, gold, 1995 Madras) to have won gold for the country.

The 23-year old athlete, Naseem, happens to be another force gushing forth from the downtrodden fabric of the society. Naseem, who represents Army at the domestic level, lives with her family in a 40-yard single room house located in the slums of the Korangi Industrial Area. Her father Hameed is a labourer who hardly earns Rs9000 per month.

Naseem, who is very proud for her stupendous show in front of a good crowd in Dhaka, the other day, has no space in her house to keep her medals, which she has won so far in her brief but sparkling career.

Her father Hameed told Geo TV on Tuesday that he is an illiterate man and does not know much but only prays for her daughter and helps her and his other children in their education. Her mother has great contribution in her achievement, he said.

“Naseem had great fondness for the game and adored it from infancy. Our relatives were against her stance to come to the field of sports but it was her willpower which helped her stick to the game and attain such a success,” Naseem mother said. “She is a son for me and I always pray for her,” her mother, who broke into tears, said.

Her sister, Annie, who is a football player, said, players have to do everything on their own to succeed, as the authorities do not properly support them.

After her brilliant performance, Naseem now feels that her feat will definitely add to her responsibility.

“Definitely, after such an achievement, the pressure builds and it will certainly add to my responsibility but I will try to face all the pressure and will struggle to make my career more healthy,” the proud athlete said. PKKH

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