2019 has been a year of ups and downs. In terms of sports, Pakistani athletes have had an eventful year. From figure skating to snooker, boxing to wrestling, and esports to cricket, Pakistanis have brought honor to their homeland.
With the year ending, let’s have a look at the top 10 achievements by Pakistani athletes in 2019.
1. Mallak Faisal Wins a Figure Skating Tournament in Austria
Dreams do come true and so it did for this 12-year-old-girl from Pakistan, who clinched her first-ever figure skating title in Austria this year.
Having started figure skating at just the age of 5, Mallak Faisal Zafar impressed with her moves at the event, winning the first position in the Basic Novice Girls II category at the 24th International Eiscup Innsbruck 2019.
2. Muhammad Wasim Returns Home Victorious
In a country obsessed with cricket, Muhammad Wasim nicknamed Falcon has become a star in the boxing ring at the international stage. The professional boxer extended his winning streak earlier this year by defeating former World Boxing Council light flyweight champion, Ganigan Lopez of Mexico in Dubai.
His tally now stands at 10-1 and he has been an inspiration for many youngsters across the country. While the youth love to copy the flamboyant batting style of Babar Azam and bowl toe-crushers like Wasim and Waqar, the passion for boxing is on the rise, thanks to Muhammad Waseem.
3. Mohammad Asif Wins IBSF World Snooker Championship
Pakistani cueist, Muhammad Asif clinched the world’s biggest snooker title, the IBSF Snooker Championship earlier this year for the second time. He became the world champion for the first time in 2012.
Mohammad Asif faced off against Jeffrey Roda of the Philippines in the final and won 8-5. Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousaf had won the title in 1994 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
4. Inam Butt Bags Gold at World Beach Games
Pakistan’s pride, Inam Butt came from behind to clinch the prestigious gold medal at World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar. After being 2-0 down against Dato Marsagishvil of Georgia, Inam Butt registered a win by 5-2 in the 90kg category.
5. Athletes Bring 32 Gold Medals Home at SAG 2019
After winning only 12 golds at the previous edition of the South Asian Games in 2016, the Pakistani athletes made sure that the medals tally comprehensively beat those of previous outings.
Pakistan finished fourth with a total of 132 medals, including 32 gold, 41 silver, and 59 bronze. The karate squad was the most successful, winning 6 gold medals while athletics and weightlifting teams bagged 5 golds each.
6. DI Khan Athlete Breaks Indian Man’s Record
A martial arts athlete from Pakistan, Irfan Mehsood made it to the Guinness Book of World Records after completing 48 one-leg elevated pushups in one minute, breaking the previous record held by an Indian athlete Ashwani Kumar, who completed 34 reps in one minute last year.
7. Abid Ali Becomes First Male Cricketer to Score Twin Debut Hundreds
Having made his international debut at the age of 32, Abid Ali became the first man in the history of cricket to score centuries on both ODI and Test debut this year.
The right-handed opener smashed his debut ODI ton against Australia and later raised his bat on Test debut against Sri Lanka.
8. Sana Mir Leads Wisden’s Team of the Decade
Former Pakistan captain, Sana Mir’s leadership abilities won over the judges at Wisden, making her the captain of their team of the decade.
The 33-year-old cricketer has been a role model for the young female cricketers not just in Pakistan but for girls from other countries as well. In addition, the all-rounder also bagged a number of local and international awards for her exemplary leadership skills.
9. Arslan Ash Becomes E-Sports Player of the Year
Pakistani e-gaming prodigy, Arslan Ash’s unstoppable rise in the world of Tekken 7 has earned him the award for the best E-Sports Player of 2019.
Renowned sporting website, ESPN declared Arslan Ash the best player of the year for winning both the Japanese and the US-based Evo Championship Series tournaments in the same year.
10. Gold Medals Galore at Special Olympics World Games
With 92 athletes participating in the Special Olympics World Games 2019, Pakistan managed to win 61 medals, including 18 gold, 28 silver, and 15 bronze medals.
The special athletes made the country proud by raising the Pakistani flag high at the event which took place in Abu Dhabi from March 14 to 21.
In addition, Pakistan cricket’s batting sensation, Babar Azam was also quite impressive throughout the year, especially when it came to stepping up his game in the longest format. The T20I captain of Pakistan cricket team is ranked in single digits in all formats, a feat which is achieved by no other cricketer – even Virat Kohli currently.
He is the number 1 batsman in T20Is, 3rd in ODIs and 6th in Tests as per the latest ICC rankings.
What are your thoughts on these achievements? Let us know if you have more achievements to share with us.