Muhammad Abubakar Usman, a third-year Economics student at the Mushtaq Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences, representing the Lahore Division Swimming team at the Punjab Games 2019, has won 3 Gold and 1 Silver Medal. He was awarded Gold in the 50m Breaststroke, 4x100 Freestyle relay and 4x100 Medley relay, and a Silver Medal in the 100m Breaststroke.
The Punjab Games is where talented athletes from different divisions in Punjab come together to participate in a range of sports disciplines.
Abubakar, representing team Lahore, shared his experiences. “After winning at the Nationals I was expected to perform well here; being the favourite to win was the tough part of this competition. But nevertheless, it is always a thrill getting to race against the best in Punjab and an honour to stand atop the victory stand with them,” he said.
Swimming has always been a passion for Abubakar who has been involved in the sport since he was young. He shared how participating in the National Games Pakistan last year, where he won the Bronze medal, and going to the Punjab Games this year, were part of his long-term aspirations. “It was a huge pleasure to represent LUMS and Lahore, in fact it was always my dream to compete at the national level,” shared Abubakar.
For Abubakar, LUMS played a huge role in his achievements by providing him with a high standard pool and world-class resources to train with. He was also introduced to his coach, Mr. Rasheed Ahmad here, who he credits as having the biggest role to play in his success. “It was actually after I came to LUMS and trained under Sir Rasheed that I started swimming competitively and professionally. Had I not come to LUMS and met my coach, I would not be here today. I even remember when I started training under him he told me that he would have me compete at nationals and I just laughed it off. I wasn't that good at the time and didn't consider it a possibility. But he believed in me and a year and half later his belief came to fruition,” he recalls.
The journey to the National stage however, wasn’t easy. Having to fit in 2 or 3 hours of tough training sessions along with his classes and study schedule was a herculean task but Abubakar kept in mind his goal to be a winner, and support from his coach, parents and friends made it easier to make the sacrifices that he needed to make.
LUMS is extremely proud of Abubakar and his achievement against the very best swimmers of the country and we hope that his example and dedication will serve as an inspiration for other athletes.