ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Japan-based judoka Shah Hussain Shah has qualified for the Rio Olympics under-100kg weight category, Secretary Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) Masood Ahmed said on Saturday.
“As per the latest list released by the International Judo Federation (IJF) on late Friday, it has been confirmed that our top judoka Shah Hussain has sealed a place for the Rio Olympics under the continental quota” Masood told APP.
He said Shah’s performance had been outstanding in his recent outings in Olympic qualifiers that saw him earn 243 valuable ranking points. “Shah has also created history as he is the first Pakistani judoka to ever qualify for the Olympics,” he added.
In Rio, Shah Hussain will be looking to emulate his father, Hussain Shah’s feats at the 1988 Olympics, who won bronze in boxing during the Seoul Games and is one of only two individual Olympic medallists for the country.
Shah, who also won a gold in South Asian Games held in Shillong, India in February this year is in Japan these days and getting training there as his Iranian coach Sajjad Kazmi is on a two-month leave.
“Shah is country’s only hope. We are considering to send him to Iran, Spain or some other country for training ahead of the world’s prestigious sports event. I think he still has time and we’ll try our best to provide him all necessary facilities to help him make a podium finish. That would be a great accomplishment,” Masood said.
Masood also thanked Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) for extending support to the federation for sending Shah to almost all Olympic qualifiers.
“Both PSB and POA have been forthcoming. I think it would not have been possible for us to send him to international events without their kind support,” he added. – APP