KARACHI: National karatekas will assemble in Lahore on July 5 to begin their preparation for the South Asian Karate Championship which will be held in Colombo from August 3-6.

A senior official of the Pakistan Karate Federation (PKF) said that Pakistan would be fielding karatekas in all three categories including seniors, juniors and cadets in the championship.

“We plan to feature in all three categories. We will try to ensure hundred percent participation of seniors in the competitions. As far as juniors and cadets are concerned, we will look at our funds and then decide how many we should field in these two sections,” PKF chairman Mohammad Jehangir told ‘The News’ on Saturday.

“We have also written to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and as the new financial year will begin from next month, we are optimistic that the Board would manage some funds for the team’s tour in time,” he hoped.

He said star karateka Saadi Abbas would also be part of the touring party.

Jehangir said that 15 boys and 12 girls would be put in the camp.

Baaz Mohammad, Kashif, Mohammad Ramzan, Imtiaz, Kulsoom, Beenish Khan, Qurat-ul-Ain and Nargis are some of the other prominent players who will be part of the camp.

Pakistan missed the previous edition held in India in 2016 when only six boys and six girls of the 21-member touring party were issued Indian visas.

Pakistan had to defend the title on that occasion. Now India will start as defending champions in the Colombo affair.

Jehangir is hopeful that Pakistan will regain their title. “We have a talented and experienced lot and I am hopeful we will reclaim the crown,” he said.