Commonwealth Games: Inam, Bismah proud to carry Pakistan flag

Pakistan’s top wrestler Muhammad Inam believes the honour of bearing the flag for the country at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham is huge for him and he wants to make sure he also finishes the games with that flag, as the honour goes to the player with the best performance in the Games. Along with Inam, Pakistan women’s team captain Bismah Maroof will also be carrying the flag among women. Pakistan has sent a contingent of 104, which includes 36 officials, 68 athletes (25 women and 43 men). “I feel it is a huge honour when a player represents the country out of more than 220 million Pakistanis in one’s own weight and sport,” Inam told The Express Tribune. “Then to bear the flag from among the entire contingent in the opening or closing ceremony and that becomes even bigger of an honour. I can’t thank Allah enough for keeping me among his chosen few who to do the honours for the country.” Inam will be representing Pakistan in wrestling’s 86kg freestyle event that will begin on August 5, Friday in Birmingham. “There are two types of flag bearing that happen,” explained Inam. “One is at the beginning and one is at the closing. The one at the closing is a lot closer to my heart because usually the athlete that gives the best performance carries the flag at the closing ceremony. I want to perform so well for my country in my event that I raise the flag at the end too.” Inam has been one of the best athletes that Pakistan has produced. The three-time World Beach Wrestling Champion and the 2019 World Beach Games gold medallist has been the flag bearer for the country on numerous occasions. Each time he said it was special. He also won the Commonwealth Games gold medals twice, once in 2010 and then in 2018. “My target will be to do my best and carry the flag in the end too, just like I did at the World Beach Games and at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. I have carried the flag five to six times before and each time it has been a huge honour. Even now I am praying that Allah helps me, he has been kind and if I get to carry it at the closing that will be such good fortune for me,” said the 2016 Asian Beach Games gold medallist. On the other hand, Bismah highlighted that the women’s cricket team is being featured at the Commonwealth Games for the first time and hence it is a huge honour for the girls. They will be playing in the Twenty20 format. “Carrying the flag at the Commonwealth Games is a very proud moment for me. This is the first time we are participating at the Commonwealth Games so we are all very excited. We want to do well, and definitely our aim is to win the gold medal. “I want to send my best wishes to all the athletes participating for Pakistan in the game,” Bismah said in a 30-second video released by the Pakistan Cricket Board. Pakistan is competing in athletics, badminton, boxing, cricket, hockey, gymnastics, judo, squash, swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, wrestling and para-athletics. So far Pakistan has won 75 medals in the Commonwealth Games since their debut in 1954, with 25 gold, 24 silver and 26 bronze medals. Pakistan is ranked 15th among the nations on the all-time medal tally. This time 72 nations are competing at the Commonwealth Games.

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