LAHORE – A Pakistani man won 15th Okinawa Goju-Ryu Karate Open International Championship 2018 in Malaysia, bagging one gold medal and one silver medal for the country earlier this month.
Yaseen Ramzan, a resident of Lahore’s Shahdara area, has now shared his ordeal and how he managed to represent Pakistan without any kind of government support at one of biggest Karate event in Asia.
Ramzan told Daily Pakistan in an exclusive interview about his feats, which include beating Karate players from Pakistan’s arch-rival – India – twice in the tournament, held between May 4-6.
“I had to borrow Rs200,000 from my friends and local sponsors to participate in the Malaysia event. While players from India, Nepal and Indonesia had come with their managers and trainers, I was all alone there to represent Pakistan without even a coach or physician,” the 29-year-old said.
Yaseen, who has been into the sport for past 18 years, always wanted to turn his hobby and passion into a full-time successful enterprise. But, unfortunately, lack of resources and the government’s apathy has forced the Karate king manage his livelihood by running a small barbeque joint in his hometown.
The sportsman, who had bagged three gold medals against India in Sri Lanka last year, went on to share that Indians offered him an opportunity to play from their side.
“The most disappointing thing for me is that no official of Pakistan Karate Federation (PKF) has yet approached me,” Yaseen said, adding that his teacher (mentor) has been riding a three-wheeler on city roads to support his family.
The country’s karate federation, on the other hand, asserts it has chalked out a comprehensive program for the promotion of karate at grassroots level for the players and arranging coaching and referee courses.