KARACHI: Pakistan’s ruling national cycling champion Ali Ilyas said on Saturday that the country could create ripples in Asia within a few years if national pedestrians could carry out “smart training”.
“There is extraordinary talent in Pakistan, but what drivers need is intelligent and scientific training,” Ali told ‘The News’ in an interview. “Their approach to training must be changed. In a few years, if the pedallists are given quality training, Pakistan can create ripples in Asia, “he added.
Ali, who played badminton before switching to cycling with a shoulder injury, was linked to the Bikestan Cranck Addicts Club Karachi, the first club registered with the Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF).
Ali won the gold medal for Sindh in badminton at the 2013 National Games held in Islamabad under the parallel Pakistan Olympic Association (POA).
“What I have to achieve in six years I get in a short time because I do smart training,” Ali said.
Ali missed last year’s Yorkshire World Championship because of an injury. He is scheduled to represent Pakistan at the Asian Championships but that must be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now he has an eye on the Swiss World Championships in September.
Ali received instructions from an English coach to hone his skills.
“Yes, I got advice from an English coach. This is very important, “said Ali.
Ali suggested Pakistani racers need training. “Yes, they need training. If a good foreign trainer is hired and he trains some cyclists on a modern footing then that will bring a lot of improvement in overall standards, “Ali said.
“But nutrition is very important along with training. Look at the WAPDA cyclists get a good salary and they have nothing to do except cycling. And on the other hand I hardly get time for training because of my business but I can still give them a hard time because I do smart training, “Ali said.
Ali said if Pakistan were able to overtake India, it would be a great achievement that would open the way to conquer Asia in the future.
“A few years ago at the South Asian Games we were ahead of India but now they have improved a lot. If the government, together with the corporate sector, focus on sports then we have things that can bring us ahead of India, “Ali said.
Ali said if the 14th South Asian Games were held in 2022 then surely he would be looking to finish between the top two.
Ali said Quetta riders could become like Colombians if their talents were polished.
“Quetta is at the highest altitude, even more than Gilgit and their riders are suitable for the match. If they are given attention, Quetta will become the new Columbia in cycling, “Ali said.
Ali regretted that the Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF) had sent several people for training courses abroad but this had not been implemented well at the grassroots level.
Ali said that training on the road was more economical and if attention was paid to sports, Pakistan could advance in discipline.