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Punjab International Sports Festival concludes with fanfare

LAHORE - The Punjab International Sports Festival 2012 concluded here on Thursday amidst simple but impressive ceremony here at the Punjab Stadium.
The international activity that started on November 7 with an opening ceremony at the National Hockey Stadium saw around 26 teams participating in eight events.
On the final day, the first ever European football team to Pakistan, Serbia took over Yemen and in the end Serbia returned triumphant with a brilliant show of fight back 3-2.
Serbia took lead in the 2nd minute of the match through Pejic Milos but that lead short-lived when Yemen’s Redhwan Abdul Jabbar hit the cage for an equalizer in the 28th minute.
Director General Sports and Youth Affairs Punjab Usman Anwar was the chief guest and gave the medals to the winners and the other participants.
Yemen kept on tightening the noose and maintained the pressure on Serbia defence and by the 38 minute James Teddy provided Yemen lead. The teams remained locked 2-1 by the half time with Yemen in total control. But by the time the games entered into the 78th minute, Jovanovic Nicola hit in two back to back goals to get Serbia the title and the gold.
In all 1381 players from different countries took part in the international festival and Pakistan with 12 gold medals was the leader of the festival. Having won gold medals in touchball, male and female, fistball, baseball and eight in ju-jitsu while one silver medal each in rugby and kabaddi and a couple in ju-jitsu, Pakistan has somehow returned to the international forum with positive vibes.
Before the start of the festival, there were reservations among the foreign team in the backdrop of the situation beyond anybody’s control. But after the Sports Board Punjab in collaboration with the Punjab government and the direct supervision of Usman Anwar, Director General Sports and Youth Affairs Punjab now the country’s name is being taken around the globe in a positive sense.
It was not only the Director General Sports Punjab, but also the untiring efforts of Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan, Deputy Speaker and Chairman Organising Committee of the Festival, who under the direct supervision of Mian Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, Chairman Sports Board Punjab, implemented the vision of Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif.
Apart from the international activity, the last 10 days also saw the athletes of Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtun Khawa, Islamabad, AJK and Fata participated in the Inter-provincial National Games that had athletics (male and female), badminton, football and table tennis competitions. On the sidelines of the entire activity, the SBP also hosted the Indian Punjab team in the sports of hockey, tug of war and wrestling. And the deaf and dump teams of Pakistan and India locked horns in Dositi Cup that had competitions in cricket, Kabaddi, wrestling, badminton, table tennis and chess.
Some of the events like marathon, heavy bike race, cycling and a couple of Guinness Record events have been held for to be conducted later and with their organization the Punjab Youth Festival having the six phases of Neighbourhood and Village, Union Council, Tehsil, District, Divisional and Provincial level, saw the conduct of the Guinness World Record events in which Pakistan went into the GWR Book on 11 counts. Guinness adjudicator Gareth Daeves and Imran Javed personally monitored the World Records being established. That followed the international activity which concluded with the win of the Serbia football team.