“We’ve decided to field Shah in this event as participation in it will provide him a perfect chance to qualify for Olympics,” Masood Ahmed, secretary Pakistan Judo Federation’s (PJF).
Around 386 judokas are expected to compete in 14 events (seven each for both men and women) at the 2016 Summer Olympics from August 6 to 12.
According Olympic qualification rules, the judokas will keep on playing in the qualifiers till May 29 this year. After that the International Judo Federation (IJF) will prepare a final list of the judokas, who will feature in the Olympics.
Masood said that the Federation was pinning high hopes on Shah. “He has been outstanding for quite some time and winning medals for us. Hence we’ve decided to focus on him,” he said. Shah recently won gold medal in the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) men’s 100kg final, defeating India’s Shubham Kumar in a minute and 29 seconds.
But Masood believed that the SAG was just a minor show for Shah. “In India, he stunned everyone through his spectacular performance.
He proved that in the region he was matchless,” Masood said. He said that the Federation was also considering to send Shah in the Asian Championships, to be held in Uzbekistan in April. “If he gets medal in the Asian Championships, he’ll be able to claim a direct spot in Olympics,” Masood added.