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Running For Her Life: Naseem Hamid

As she ran in the 100 m race in the South Asian Federation (SAF) games hosted in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 23 year old, Naseem Hamid had no idea that she would earn the title of the fastest woman in South Asia. After 11.81 seconds, Hamid became the first woman to receive gold at the competition.

A true story of rags to riches, Hamid lived in a one-room house in the slums of Korangi in Karachi. Once in the spotlight, her “fairytale success” came to light, which she says will “take some time to digest”. With every luxury she did not have before pouring in, she reminisced about her families struggles to make ends meet on a daily basis, and taking on the responsibility of her family, on her shoulders, when she began training as an athlete in the Pakistani army’s sports section. Just three years ago, Hamid used to run barefoot, since she could not afford proper running shoes and continue to “train very hard”. She was so determined to excel that she recalled at times she would “came back home with [her] legs aching and fell asleep before [her] parents woke [her] up for dinner.”

Her mother, Nasreen Hamid, considered her daughter to be “like a son to [her] and overcame lots of trouble but never lost heart, even when she couldn’t win races”. Nasreen recalled that even though “Our relatives were against her going into sport but it was her will power that helped her stick to the game and attain such success. “ Although, after her daughter’s success her extended family had a lot of pride and crowded her house.

After being injured in 2006 for the 10th South Asian Games in Colombo, Hamid had to watch her colleagues from the sidelines, but this was just more motivation for her. “I know you can beat all odds through your determination, and I have done that in Dhaka…failures have always given me heart to perform” said Hamid as she finally comes back to reality of having her dream come true of holding the title of South Asia’s fastest woman. —MUNIA ISLAM

Photo credit: AFP

2 thoughts on “Running For Her Life: Naseem Hamid

  1. its really awsem n wonderfull for pakistan. we should proud for this acheivement i give salute to ms naseem hamid. and i just want to know that is she muslim or not?????

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