Karim improves Pakistan’s record in Sochi
KARACHI: Pakistan’s Muhammad Karim finished his alpine skiing event at the 71st position out of 109 skiers in the giant slalom competition at Rosa Khutor resort Wednesday.
Ted Ligety became the first Winter Olympian this year to win a gold medal for the US, setting the best cumulative time of two minutes, 45.29 seconds in the two rounds.
Karim also made an improvement in Pakistan’s record. He finished the first run from a 4495 feet track in one minute and 43.44 seconds. He was 22.36 minutes behind Ligety.
The 18-year-old finished his second run in a minute and 43.97 seconds which was 10. 72 seconds behind the gold medal winner. Karim finished the two rounds in a total of three minutes and 27.41 seconds.
He outpaced India’s Himanshu Thakur, who concluded the race on the last spot, registering a time of three minutes, 37.55 seconds.
Although Abbas finished his 2010 Winter Olympic race with a cumulative time of three minutes and 20.75 seconds on 79th position, Karim’s performance can be considered better as his difference from the winner was 42. 12 seconds compared to Abbas’ 42.75 four years ago.
‘I will train and practice harder’
Karim though feels that he achieved his target. “I’m happy with the result because I didn’t want to get disqualified in the beginning,” Karim told The Express Tribune. “I under-performed because of that fear, I wish I could’ve performed with a little bit less pressure. Many athletes failed to finish the race and others were disqualified. So I was very careful.
It was tough, the track was very steep. But I tried and I understand that there is a room for improvement. Other skiers who did well were more experienced and that really counts in skiing,” said Karim.
However, he is now setting his eyes on the next Winter Olympics. “I’ll train and practice harder and hopefully compete in more races,” said Karim.
Meanwhile, his coach Iftikhar Bajwa said that Karim had only one chance and he performed carefully.
“Karim felt the pressure, because he was competing in only one race. I believe he could’ve given better results, but overall it was a good performance. The track in Sochi was also very demanding.”
Bajwa said that the Winter Olympics results of Abbas and Karim should not be compared with each other.
“It was a good show and Karim made a slight improvement,” added Bajwa. “We can’t compare 2010 performance with this year because the track was different and the two races are four years apart.”