Mohammad Talib runs Athletic Fitness School in Karachi. The 85-year-old former athlete sheds light on his pioneering career in athletics in a discussion with Dialogue Pakistan.
After retiring from athletics, Talib founded a training school in Karachi where he trained national boxing, hockey, women’s cricket and football teams as he is now a source of motivation for the aspirants.
Mentioning his achievement of 29 medals, Mohammad Talib recalls the former glory of Pakistan hockey team. “I spent eight years with hockey team. Under my supervision, Pakistan junior (hockey team) played 60 matches, including international matches, and won 59 out of them,” he explains.
He advises that we need to take back the game of hockey to its grass root level to retain our global dominance. Talib complains that earlier there were players from all over Pakistan but today we have witnessed that the players are coming from only one region.
“Earlier, there were players from NWFP (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Karachi, one or more players might also come from Balochistan which made up a team (on national level). Right now it is not like that. Now, you will see and notice the players from a specific area in the team. An individual must think what caused this change? Has the hockey vanished from rest of Pakistan?,” He questions sarcastically.
Talib further says that this factor has to be inquired and investigated as the national hockey administration needs to think over it.
“They should extend their hearts; visit every province, and pick players from each, then Pakistan will (once again) emerge at the top,” he adds.
He also enlightens Pakistan’s Olympic journey. Pakistan has so far won three gold medals in the field hockey at Summer Olympics: first in 1960, second in 1968, and third in 1984.
“In 1984, I was with the team and at that time Pakistani team was the world’s fittest team,” Talib continues. He further says he is over 84 years old but he visits training school regularly like it is still a part of his job.
Talib says he has written a book, expressing all of his concerns including his worth-sharing experiences.
Watch Dialogue Pakistan’s full conversation with Mohammad Talib, discussing the dilemma of athletics in Pakistan.