Pak women create waves at AAG

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Modern swimsuits have made it possible for Pakistani girls to compete in swimming events at the Afro-Asian Games.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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In Pakistan, all provincial women swimming championships are held in purdah. No male, above six months of age, can either see or cheer the girls at the pool. But modern swimsuits have made it possible for the girls from Pakistan to compete in international events like the Afro-Asian Games. "The shark skin is actually a suit that covers the whole body. It not only increases the speed but also certainly covers modesty and that ties in with our culture so it has made it easier," said Veena Masud, the manager of the Pakistani women’s team. While the women in the Pakistani swimming contingent may not have won a single medal, the girls at least say they feel at home. "We get the same hospitality and the same appreciation from the people. It is quite the same. I think there is a lot of similarity between Pakistan and India so I feel as though I am swimming at my home," said Ayesha Tajwai. "We are probably creating waves because we are the first women's team in India in a long time. Even if it was an athletics team, it would have been the same," added Mahira Karim, a swimmer. Uncoached talent Pakistan’s national women’s swimming champion Sana Wahid says there is a lot of talent in her country and a good coach could work wonders. "If you give us a proper professional coach even for a year then I think we can compete with the Indians. Due to lack of professional coaches and pools we are unable to do anything," said Sana Wahid, Pakistan’s National swimming champion. The Pakistan Swimming Federation hopes a renewal of sporting ties with India will make it possible for swimmers from both countries to share common waters.