Talking to APP, a Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) official said a 19-member contingent will represent the country in the 2016 Olympics scheduled to be held from August 5 to 21. "The 19-member Pakistan contingent will include seven athletes and 12 officials ," he revealed.
For the first time in the history, the national hockey team would not feature in the mega event because it failed to qualify for the quadrennial sports spectacle and mainly the Pakistani athletes participating in the Olympics have got entry through wildcard or continental quota system.
Not even a single boxer could qualify for the Olympics although one of Pakistan's two non-hockey medals came through boxing in 1988 when Hussain Shah won a bronze. Judoka Shah Hussain, the son of Hussain Shah is the only athlete who sealed a place at coveted multi-sports event under continental quota.
The athletes to chip in the Olympics include swimmers Lianna Swan and Haris Bandey who are based abroad, judoka Shah Hussain, who also lives in Japan, shooters Ghulam Mustafa and Minhal Sohail and two sprinters.
It may be mentioned here that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) allows national Olympic committees of various countries with few or without any athletes to participate in the coveted sports events by offering wild cards to their athletes .
A player or team that has not qualified through the normal competitive channel receives a wildcard entry. In Olympics too, wildcards are offered to countries, whose athletes fail to meet the qualification standards.