ISLAMABAD - National record holder athlete and Olympian Rabia Ashiq vowed to win laurels for the country at international level and requested the IPC and PSB to either manage world-class coach for her or send her for training in Kenya.

Talking to The Nation, Rabia, 21, said: “I started participating in 40, 800, 1500, 500 and 10,000 meters races in 2007, in 2010 National Games held in Peshawar and managed to win five gold medals in 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m races and I was also declared the best athlete. In 2011 National Championship, I once again managed to win five golds in same events and during the course, I broke Shazia's 16 year-old record.”

She added: “In 2012, I competed in four categories and won all the gold medals on offer in 800m, 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m, 800m. Race is my favorite and I am specialist in that category. I also participated in Asian Grand Prix in Thailand in 2012 in 800m and set my fastest record during those games. I also broke Sajida's eight-year old record in 5000m during 42nd Games held in Islamabad in 2012. I participated in London Olympics in 2012 in 800m. Unfortunately, I finished at a time of 2.16 seconds, but I got only two-week training for such a high-profile event.

If I had been given three-month training, I could have set a new record.” “Deepaka of US is my favorite athlete as she is cool, calm and composed. I want to follow in her footsteps. Wapda has provided me a job. The Athletic Federation of Pakistan (AFP) is also doing a great job despite having limited resources. I am very grateful to AFP president Maj Gen (r) M Akram Sahi who always bucks me up and awards cash prizes to best performers from his own pocket. It is my request to Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada to arrange a six-month long training camp for me in Kenya or any other place under the guidance of top professional coach. If provided with a reputed coach, it is my promise I will not disappoint the nation and try to win gold in the Asian Games and also in Commonwealth Games,” Rabia concluded.

When this scribe contacted AFP president Maj Gen (r) Akram Sahi to seek his point of view on Rabia's request, he replied: “Yes, off course, Rabia is an asset for the country and a world class material. I have time and again not only recommended her but also other best performers to be sent abroad for international standard training under the watchful eyes of world's best coaches. The AFP under limited funds can't bear hefty expenditures required for training purposes. If government arranges international training for players or invite a top coach to Pakistan for training purposes, the day is not so far when our players will start producing more than desired results.”