Pakistani girl wins first karate medal for Pakistan in Asian Games

Pakistan’s Nargis (right), jubilates after winning her bronze medal match against Nepal’s Rita Karki at the women’s +68kg kumite karate at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Islamabad: Nineteen-year-old Nargis from Pakistan’s Quetta city became the first Pakistani woman to win a medal in karate at the Asian Games 2018 on Saturday.

“Papa, I did it”, Nargis exclaimed in a video message, raising her voice and her fist. Her victory is a symbol of empowerment for the women of Balochistan province who are bravely pushing the cultural and traditional barriers. “I have proved that girls from Quetta can participate in international sporting events,” she said.

Expressing gratitude to her teacher Ghulam Ali Hazara and Pakistan Karate Federation, Nargis said that her dream is “to win a gold medal for Pakistan.”

The teenage sports star won a bronze medal in karate at the 18th Asian Games taking place in Indonesia as she outplayed Nepal’s Rita Karki 3-1 to claim the medal in the +68kg event. “I expected to win the medal and all my friends and my coaches had expectations,” Nargis said in her media statement.

Encouraging other female athletes Nargis said: “I believe that Pakistanis should not make excuses. That is my advice to other female athletes. We always think that being a Pakistani we can’t achieve much, but we can.”

Officials from her home province sent their best wishes to her. Felicitating Nargis on her achievement, Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Jam Kamal Aliyani said that Nargis brought fame to Pakistan by demonstrating her exceptional skills at an international sporting event. He added that the youth of Balochistan have immense potential and skills.

Nargis who hails from Quetta’s minority Hazara community is following in the footsteps of Kulsoom Hazara, Pakistan’s karate star who has represented the nation in dozens of international events and won several gold medals.

Congratulating Nargis, female cyclist and athlete Samar Khan said: “This is just a start of [Pakistani] women taking up sports, focusing on physical fitness and building confidence. We still have a long way to go.”

However, the latest victory of Nargis offers much-needed motivation for Pakistan’s sportswomen and especially karate players who have been striving hard to make a name for themselves.

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