Irfan Mehsud, a Kung Fu player from the war-battered South Waziristan tribal region, has earned laurels for the country after his name was enlisted by the Guinness World Record (GWR) for making five records in the game.
In his exclusive chat with Pakistan Today, Irfan, 26, recalled he had to migrate to Dera Ismail Khan along with his parents, a gateway to South Waziristan, following bloody clashes between the security forces and militants.
He is an MPhil student and belongs to Ladha, a dusty town in South Waziristan, having the credit for being the first person who introduced Wushu Kung Fu in the troubled area.
“I have undergone untold problems to get my name included in the GWR. On one hand, I am facing financial constraints while, on the other, I have no proper equipment to further promote my skills in Kung Fu,” he rued.
He recalled he had opted for Wushu Kung Fu because he was impressed by Jackie Chan. “I used to watch Jackie’s movies when I was a school student,” he added.
He said the GWR has approved his records for the most number of full contact knee strikes in one minute using one leg.
He went on to say that his other records include: Most pushups (31) with one leg raised while carrying a 40lb pack in one minute. Similarly, most knuckle pushups (26) while carrying a 40-lb pack in one minute.
In addition, most knuckle pushups (21) with one leg raised carrying a 40-lb pack in one minute.
The most pushups with one leg raised and carrying an 80-lb pack in one minute are 21, he said, adding that he got all those records from July to October last year.
“I want to excel and receive more distinctions in this sport to promote the image of my country and Fata region,” he noted.
He said he established a small academy in 2013 named “Jackie Chan Academy” in Dera Ismail Khan in a shabby rented building, where he was training players to take part in national and international competitions.
However, he demanded of the federal and provincial governments provide him with direly needed equipment and a hall in the larger interest of the country and players.
Irfan said he is the sole breadwinner for his extended family members and his ailing parents.
Despite financial constraints and lack of facilities, the record-holder vowed he would earn more laurels for the country, as nothing could dampen his courage.
It is quite alarming to note here that despite winning gold medals at national, provincial as well as at FATA levels, he was neither supported by the governments nor by the sports ministries.