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July 24, 2011

Saadi Abbas in crowning glory at China


July 24, 2011

KARACHI: Pakistan ace Saadi Abbas created history when he won gold at the Asian Karate Championships after beating Kim Ju Won of South Korea in the -67kg weight category title showdown in China on Saturday.
Saadi, who belongs to Karachi and represents WAPDA in the national circuit, not only became the first Pakistani but also the first South Asian to have clinched gold in the Asian Championship.
“It is a dream come true,” Saadi told ‘The News’ from China after winning the title.
“Since 2006, I have been trying to perform well at international level by putting in all my efforts. After claiming golds in the 2006 South Asian Games and the Commonwealth Karate Championships at Johannesburg two years ago, this victory has further boosted my morale,” Saadi, who also plays as professional for Al Ahli club in Dubai where his parents are also settled, said.
Saadi beat tough karatekas from Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Hong Kong to reach the final, a journey which the experienced player completed with great courage.
“I had to confront some tough rivals in the early stages but I was in good form and had confidence as well as a solid game plan to beat them. In the final, I was facing a tough opponent but thank God everything went fine and I came out victorious,” he said.
Now, Saadi aims to clinch a medal at world level.
‘Last time, I ended seventh in the world event but now it would be my top priority to get a medal in the World Championship,” Saadi said.
He said that the trip to Iran helped him ahead of the Championships.
“A three-week-long tour to Iran was very fruitful for us and I think tough training is necessary ahead of any big event,” he said.”I play as professional for Al Ahli where I come across some good players from around the world which also helps me learn a lot. I go there when they need me. But mostly I play and train in Pakistan,” Saadi, also a six-time national champion, said.
Meanwhile, the

president of the Pakistan Karate Federation (PKF) Mohammad Jehangir termed Saadi Abbas’ victory an historic one.
“Saadi has made all of us proud with his spectacular display. I hope that he will continue earning more big titles for the country,” Jehanir told this correspondent from China.
Baz Muhammad (60kg), Muhammad Kashif (-55kg), Imtiaz Ali (-75kg) and Muhammad Ramzan (-85kg) were the other Pakistani players who put up valiant fight but failed to go beyond the quarter-finals. On Sunday (today), Pakistan will fight in the Team Kumite.

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