Abu Dhabi: Sinan Ashfaq Ahmed, a young taekwondo champ from the UAE, was honoured by Moazzam Ahmed Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to the UAE, for winning the bronze medal at the 1st WTF President Taekwondo Cup in Tashkent.
He also honoured Ammar Ashfaq Ahmed and their coach Nadir Khan.
The UAE-based Pakistani brothers hold black belt in Taekwondo — the Korean martial arts. They both play for Pakistan’s National Taekwondo Team.
Ambassador says that Sinan and Ammar made Pakistan community proud by winning a medal at the international event, held in August.
More than 630 athletes from 25 countries participated in the championships.
Ambassador Khan urged the community members living abroad to encourage their children to join sport activities.
He said that he would consider including Taekwondo training classes in Pakistani schools as it is a disciplined form of martial arts and helps children develop physical and mental strength.
Ambassador Khan also lauded the Pakistan Taekwondo Federation (PTF) for giving opportunities to Pakistani athletes living outside the country.
Sinan and his elder brother Ammar had been selected to represent Pakistan after their participation in the Junior National Championships.
Organised by the Uzbekistan Taekwondo Association (UTA), and sanctioned by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), the inaugural edition of the competition in Tashkent has brought together hundreds of athletes from 25 countries.
This was the first time that Sinan, 12, and his older brother Ammar, 14, have been given the nod to represent Pakistan.
The student from the North American International School in Dubai, who turned 12 on August 14 — which is also his country’s Independence Day — made full use of the opportunity representing his native Pakistan at his first-ever international competition.
“Leaving for this competition, my intention was to get some vital international exposure. But here I am with a medal for my country and it feels like a dream come true,” he said.
Nadir Khan, their national team coach who accompanied the team to Tashkent, said that the next big target for the boys would be Fujairah Taekwondo Championship and then Youth Olympics in Argentina next year.
Their UAE-based coach, Grand Master Zayed Hammadi Zeyad Hammad, 7th Dan Kukkiwon, said that boys have been training with him for more than seven years and they have shown great potential in the game.
Hammad is confident they can win medals for their country at the highest levels if they are given good support by the country and the community for their training.