In preparation for the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, set to commence on September 23, 2023, the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) has confirmed the composition of its delegation, which now consists of 262 athletes and officials.
Among these, there are 137 male and 53 female athletes, accompanied by a total of 72 team and contingent officials. It’s worth noting that Pakistan initially planned to participate in 25 sports, but the E-sport team decided to withdraw from the competition.
— Pakistan Olympic Association (@NOCPakistan) September 2, 2023
A POA official has confirmed that the E-sport team’s withdrawal was not due to financial reasons. Instead, it resulted from a member of the team being unable to participate, leading to the team’s inability to field a complete roster.
Initially, a 12-member E-sport squad was chosen to represent Pakistan at the Asian Games. However, the final list of participants has been adjusted due to withdrawals in other sports as well. For example, five athletes and two officials from the Fencing team had to withdraw due to sponsorship challenges, leaving only one athlete, Mujadid Awan, to represent Pakistan in Fencing. Additionally, Najia Rasool, originally part of the Taekwondo squad, was withdrawn due to an injury to athlete Fatima tuz Zehra.
Several other individuals, including Yashal Shah in Gold, Rizwan ul Haq in Rowing, Uzma Preto in Swimming, and three Hockey coaches (Rehan Butt, Ayaz Mehmood, and Saqlain), were also removed from the final squad list.
Pakistan’s largest representation at the Asian Games will be in Cricket, with a total of 39 players and officials participating in both men’s and women’s competitions. Athletics follows closely behind with 22 participants and officials in various disciplines, and Hockey is represented by 21 members.
To lead Pakistan’s contingent, Hamdan Nazir, the president of the Pakistan Rowing Federation and VP of Railways Sports Board, has been appointed as the chef de mission, while Munir Ahmed will serve as the deputy chef de mission.
The first group of Pakistani athletes, comprising participants from Sailing and Volleyball, is scheduled to arrive in Hangzhou on September 15th.