ISLAMABAD, Feb 12: Naseem Hameed and Sarah Nasir, who won gold medals in the recent South Asian Federation games in Dhaka, were each given Rs1 million cheque as reward by President Asif Ali Zardari at a ceremony held at the Presidency on Friday. Naseem Hameed won the award in 100-metre race and Sarah Nasir in karate contest.

Coaches Maqsood Ahmad (athletics) and Mohammad Riaz (karate) were also awarded Rs100,000 cheque each. Congratulating the gold medalists, President Zardari said they had made the nation proud. Their achievement, he said, would serve as an example for other women and boost the morale of sportswomen in the country. The president advised the authorities concerned to make Naseem Hameed and Sarah Nasir sports ambassadors.

He asked the government to devise a policy under which distinguished sportswomen above a certain threshold were sent abroad for training. The same policy should apply to coaches, he added. It was announced at the ceremony that other winners of gold medals in SAF games and their coaches would also be appropriately rewarded.