Young climber Iqra Jillani all set to conquer Asian Games

Iqra Jillani

KARACHI: Pakistan’s renowned sports climber Iqra Jillani has set her eyes set on the upcoming Asian Games scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China, starting from September 23.

According to Geo, Jillani expressed her resolve to secure a medal in sports climbing, affirming that she has dedicated the past three months to rigorous training in pursuit of her goals.

The 25-year-old is one of the five climbers chosen to represent Pakistan in the Asian Games. Her fellow teammates include Amani Jannat, Fazal Wadood, Zaheer Ahmed, and Abuzar Faiz.

“We have diligently toiled over the past three months at our training camp under the supervision of the Pakistan Sports Board and the Alpine Club of Pakistan. All the athletes are in peak form during our training sessions,” she remarked.

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Iqra shared her ambitious aspirations, stating, “Our aim is to elevate Pakistan’s position in climbing by securing medals at the games and placing the nation among the top three countries.”

Sports climbing made its Asian Games debut in 2018 and is set to return for its second appearance this year. The climbing event is scheduled to take place from September 28 to October 2, featuring athletes from various countries vying for six gold medals.

Iqra Jillani

Meanwhile, Iqra and Amani hold the distinction of being the first Pakistani women to participate in the Asian Games climbing event.  However, in the previous edition of the Asian Games, which marked climbing’s debut, Pakistan was represented by two male athletes, Mushahid Hussain and Sajid Aslam.

The young climber revealed her affinity for mountain climbing and trekking and cited Pakistan’s most accomplished mountaineer, Naila Kiani, as her role model.

“Naila is a source of inspiration for all of us,” Iqra said about her. She also mentioned her own trek to the K2 base camp last year.

When asked about the association between mountaineering and sports climbing, Iqra Jillani emphasised that while both activities require endurance and fitness, they possess distinct dynamics.

“In sports climbing, you must rise an artificial wall in a specified time frame, whereas in mountaineering, you conquer various peaks without time constraints, facing diverse and challenging environments,” she explained.

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