KARACHI: Naseem Hameed received a hero’s welcome on Thursday, as she became South Asia’s fastest woman by winning the 100-metre race in the South Asian Games played in Dhaka.
The 22-year-old clocked 11.81 seconds to clinch gold medal in the race in the South Asian Federation (SAF) Games Sunday, becoming Pakistan’s first female athlete to win the sprint in the competition’s 26-year history.
Naseem was accorded a warm reception by hundreds of jubilant fans and relatives at the Karachi airport and was then taken to a formal reception hosted by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad.
The governor lauded Naseem and announced a cash price of Rs5000, 000 for the feat.
She has also been awarded prizes of 500,000 rupees from sports ministry, 200,000 rupees from Karachi Nazim Mustafa Kamal and 100,000 rupees from the Pakistan Athletics Federation.
In an exclusive chat with Geo News, Naseem said: “Allah blessed me with more than I had ever expected.”
“The prayers and encouragement of my parents brought her to this level,” the emotional Naseem said.
She said she would work with more determination and passion to win more laurels for the country. The athlete said she was glad to earn her country and her town Korangi a name.
Naseem further said she was elated by the reception.
In a message, President Asif Ali Zardari also congratulated Naseem Hameed and termed it a role model for Pakistani women.