Out of all the Olympians that represented Pakistan, Anum Bandey was certainly the least celebrated and yet the most deserving entrant. Prior to the London 2012 Olympics, the 15-year old swimmer Anum Bandey had represented Pakistan twice in the previous few years.
British-born Anum was a pupil at the Fortismere School in Barnet when she first represented Pakistan. Her dual national dad was extremely proud of his daughter competing at the World Short Course Championship in Dubai in December 2010.
At the Dubai WSC Championship 2010
She competed in eight events over a five-day championship event including the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke; 200m and 400m freestyle; and 100m, 200m and 400m individual medley. Among her times were 0.38:13 for 50m breaststroke, and 1:13.65 for the 100m individual medley. Her participation in the championship not only solidified her status as one of Pakistan’s leading swimmers but also made her one of the only two swimmers for her Barnet Copthall Swimming Club who had competed in international competitions.
Since 13-years of age, Anum had wanted to represent Pakistan and had trained alongside her coach, Rhys Gormley. No one was more happy to see her represent Pakistan in the Dubai championship than her coach who also stood by her side.
He later commented, “It is every sports person’s dream to represent their country. Anum, at just 13, had already achieved that goal.” He added, “This opportunity to compete on the international stage can only aid her continued development into an even more accomplished swimmer.” With faith in her coach and herself, Anum later proved that she could be just as competitive on a larger platform.
She again represented Pakistan at the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) 2011 World Aquatics Championships. Based on her performance at the event, she was invited by Olympics Committee to represent Pakistan as a wildcard entrant – which brings us to July 28 this year.
Anum at London 2012 Olympics
It isn’t that she really thought she could go for the gold but this Pakistani underdog had some things that didn’t favour her performance at all. Up until the start of the Olympics, she was relatively unknown to the general public in Pakistan – the very people that she represented at the event. Even when she had been representing Pakistan for more than three years now, people ignored her efforts thinking she ended up on wildcard in Pakistan only because she couldn’t qualify for the British swimming team. That is sadly untrue.
Anum has had always represented Pakistan from the moment she was thirteen and nothing could compel the young girl to give precedence to any other national team as well. She considered herself a Pakistani even she hadn’t been born in Pakistan. But the lack of support from her own country shows how little Pakistan actually thinks of its female athletes – especially swimmers.
The Karwa Sach Verdict
Not only does Pakistan think less of its female athletes, the nation is just a bunch of tharkis looking for dirt on these humble human beings. From the time I wrote this blog entry, I am not entirely surprised that much of the traffic that this blog actually gets is from Google search results (mostly from Pakistan) where people are merely searching for pictures of Anum Bandey in a swimsuit. Come on people, she’s only15 years of age (confirms that Pakistani people are also closet paedophiles). This might perhaps give one an idea of how sexually frustrated the whole Pakistani nation actually is (which shouldn’t come as a surprise). What I am really astonished at is that Pakistani people are actually searching for anything as such particularly in the holy month of Ramadan.
Other Female Athletes in Pakistan
Anum Bandey is just one of the many Pakistani female athletes that deserve your attention. Learn more about the top female golfer in Pakistan, Nushmiya Sukhera and how the sport of golf is changing in the country.