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Monday December 06, 2021

Hussain, Saidov World Judo fight today

August 30, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan’s premier judoka and 2020 Olympics hope Shah Hussain will face Saidov Saidzhalol of Tajikistan in his -100 kilogramme first round competitions of the World Judo Championships in Tokyo on Friday.

Japan-based Shah, ranked 99 in the world, is confident of a good show. “I am confident to put in my best,” Shah told The News. The event is very important for the Tokyo-based fighter and former Asian bronze medallist.

Shah has not got enough exposure in 2019, having only featured in the Asian Championships where he finished fifth. This was the third successive time that Shah finished fifth in the continental event.

In 2015 edition of the continental event Shah had claimed bronze medal.Shah has made history for Pakistan by becoming the first fighter of the nation to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

World Championships in Tokyo also serves as Olympic qualifiers. Shah’s Tajik opponent in the first round is a gutsy fighter, having 54th world ranking. But the way Shah has improved himself it is evident that he will beat him.

“We expect a lot from Shah in the event,” Pakistan Judo Federation’s (PJF) vice-president Masood Ahmed told The News after returning from Tokyo on Thursday.Masood and PJF chief Col Junaid had also visited Tokyo to attend world judo governing body (PJF) Congress.

“Shah has already beaten his first round opponent from Tajikistan. But onwards it would be a tough event for Shah as the world’s leading fighters have fielded in it while eyeing Olympics berths,” Masood said.

“Highly experienced and those who have won medals in Olympics also feature in such major events as this is the last year before Olympics and everyone has an eye on the Olympics slot,” he said.

Masood added that Shah would need to feature in more events in the next few months so that he could compete for the Olympics seat.

“Our president Col Junaid has also met with the IJF and Pakistan’s ambassador in Japan so that we could get some sort of support for Shah. But we are in fact waiting for the government to come forward and back Shah as he has the guts to press for Olympics seat for the second successive time,” Masood added.

In the global event in Tokyo Pakistan have fielded four fighters. Those three who have already faced exit in the first rounds include Tokyo-based Amina Toyoda, Huraira Ashiq and M Hasnain.

“Both Amina and Humaira lost in the same style. They both were caught by their respective opponents through counterattacks. Hasnain remained confident and the way he enters the arena for the fight he exuded utter confidence and we saw in him a future prospect and will focus on him,” Masood said. Hasnain (-66kg) belongs to Faisalabad.