Nations that are strong enough to face any daunting challenge, physically and mentally with courage and determination, have made progress and turned their dreams into reality. Pakistan Army is trained to constantly uphold its soldierly attributes of courage, character and competence to fulfill the trust reposed by the nation. Physical Agility and Combat Efficiency System (PACES) of Pakistan Army has proven its effectiveness during the fight against terrorism. Pakistan Army has confronted insurmountable challenges that called for extreme endurance and constant vigilance
The concept of PACES was evolved in 2011 by establishing a PACES cell whose goal was to create and organise such training events through which physical fitness and the strength of our soldiers may be ensured and enhanced. Army level PACES competitions have been regularly held to train and test the physical strength of our soldiers since 2011. In order to introduce the PACES concept to international counterparts, Pakistan Army has organised three international PACES competitions. The first and second international PACES competitions were organized in 2016 and 2018 in Lahore, respectively.
Pakistan Army hosted and organized the third International PACES Competition in which 160 sportsmen from 16 teams, including 9 from Pakistan Army and 7 international sportsmen, participated in the historic city of Lahore. Contingents of 6 countries from Iraq, Jordon, Palestine, Sri Lanka (2 teams), Uzbekistan and UAE took part in the competition whereas representatives from Myanmar, Indonesia, Japan and Egypt participated as observers.
The conduct of events during PACES was the real test of physical strength and endurance of the participants. Being one the toughest competitions for the international and national Army teams, PACES was regarded as a true reflection of the physical standards and endurance of the soldiers.
The opening ceremony of the 3rd International PACES competition was held at Fortress Stadium, Lahore. Lieutenant General Syed Muhammad Adnan, Inspector General Training and Evaluation (IGT&E), graced the occasion as the chief guest.
Lieutenant General Syed Muhammad Adnan, gave a warm welcome to the participants from friendly countries. He lauded their spirit, enthusiasm and participation. The chief guest emphasized on the importance of physical agility and combat efficiency for battle worthiness of the armies. He stressed that physical fitness is the hallmark of a soldier that gives him the ability to endure the hardships of the battlefield. Highlighting the improved security situation in Pakistan, Lieutenant General Adnan declared Pakistan a safe country for sports and tournaments.
All the participating teams joined a flag march past, followed by a PACES theme video, pipe band display, tent pegging and traditional folk dances on the tune of famous regional songs along with a spectacular demonstration by the Pakistan Army band which won a thunderous applause from the audience.
The conduct of events commenced with a pull ups competition at Ayub Stadium on November 2. The gold medal was secured by Corporal D.M.C. Dissanayake from Sri Lanka in the international catagory and in domestic, Sapper Amjad from Engineer Center of Pakistan Army won by doing a record 967 pull ups, breaking record of the 2nd PACES competition. Silver medal was awarded to Corporal Aththanayake from Sri Lanka in the international category and in domestic, to Sapper Awais from Engineers Center. The bronze medal was secured by Corporal Wanigasekara from Sri Lanka and in domestic by Sapper Hassan from Engineers Center.
The second day of the competition dawned with a 3.2 kilometer race. A total of 160 enthusiastic athletes, who were divided into five groups, took part in the race which started from Askari 10 near the Allama Iqbal International Airport, and ended at Ayub Stadium Cantt. The participants showed extreme enthusiasm and passion in running.
Mubarak Rashid of UAE gave the best time of 09:02:42 breaking the record of the Second International PACES competition 2018 made by Obaid Mohammad of 09:26:23 from UAE and obtained first position. In the domestic individual category, Ahmed Raza from the Engineers Center of Pakistan Army secured a gold medal. The silver medal was secured by Warrant Officer Obiad from UAE and in domestic by Sepoy Shabbir from Army Service Corps, whereas the bronze medal was secured by Lieutenant Zaid Madhloom from Iraq and Recruit Dilshad from Army Service Corps in the domestic team category.
The fourth day of the event was based on the sit-ups category where all the participants showed a rigorous display of resolution and endurance during the 30 minutes allotted time. Corporal Dissanayake from Sri Lanka secured the gold medal in the international category and in domestic by Sapper Shahzad from the Engineer Center of Pakistan Army. Corporal Madhushanka from Sri Lanka secured the silver medal and Sapper Fasih from Engineers Center in the domestic category. The bronze medal was secured by Corporal Senevirathna from Sri Lanka and in domestic by Sepoy Tahir from the Army Service Corps.
Pakistan Army continued with their strong endurance in the 3rd International PACES Competition-2021 with another dominating display on the fifth day at Ayub Stadium, Lahore Garrison. In the push up category, the gold medal was secured by Corporal Obesiri from Sri Lanka and Sapper Irfan of Engineers Center of Pakistan Army. The silver medal was awarded to soldier Aws Saleem from Iraq and technical assistant Idress from Gujranwala Corps in the domestic category. The bronze medal was secured by Corporal Senevirathna from Sri Lanka and Sapper Mujahid from Engineers Center in the domestic category.
The Combat Efficiency Test (CET), as part of the competition was held at Mehfooz Shaheed Garrison. The primary objective of the participants in the test was to get from the starting point to the finish line in the least possible time. However, their path was littered with different kinds of obstacles, including a zigzag track; jumping over a nine-meter ditch; carrying a casualty to a safe place; crawling through a high barred den; carrying an ammunition box; lobbing a grenade to clear the area and firing a round of shots at the target.
In CET, the gold medal was secured by Corporal Raja Karuna from Sri Lanka and in the domestic category Naik Ijaz from the Multan Corps team. Silver medal was awarded to Sargeant Mahmodov Doston from Uzbekistan and Zia Ullah from ASFC Pakistan Army in the domestic category. The bronze medal was awarded to Corporal Qossay Ateeli from Palestine and technical assistant Javaid from Gujranwala Corps in the domestic category.
In the fittest of the fittest category, Corporal Dissanayaka from Sri Lanka and Sapper Amjad from Engineers Centre received gold medals.
In the international teams category, Sri Lanka secured the gold medal while UAE and Uzbekistan jointly won the silver medal, while the bronze medal was shared by Palestine, Jordan and Iraq.
In the domestic teams category, the defending champions, Engineers Regimental Centre Team, won the gold medal. The silver medal was won by Multan Corps and bronze by Baloch Regimental Centre Team.
The closing ceremony of the 3rd International PACES Competition was held at Ayub Stadium, Lahore. Lieutenant General Muhammad Abdul Aziz, Commander Lahore Corps, was the chief guest at the occasion.
The chief guest awarded prizes to the winning teams and individuals and congratulated them for their excellent display of physical fitness, endurance and sportsmanship. He lauded the performance of Pakistan Army teams and complimented them for the highest standards of physical fitness displayed by them.
The chief guest specially appreciated the performance of the international teams and thanked them for their enthusiastic and vigorous participation.
The successful completion of the 3rd international PACES Championship at Lahore reflects positively on Pakistan's image as a peaceful nation that is completely safe and secure for the conduct of international sports events.
The chief guest complimented the organizing team and associated staff for making the event a great success.
Alongside the events, the participants also visited the historical places of Lahore and Wagah Border.
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