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Shah knocked out of World Judo Championships

August 31, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan’s premier judoka Shah Hussain experienced mixed fortune before bowing out of the World Judo Championships in Tokyo on Friday.

The 26-year-old Tokyo-based fighter had a golden start to his global journey when he downed Tajikistan’s Saidov Saidzhalol in the -100 kilogramme first round. However, in the pre-quarter-final Shah was undone by Dichev Daniel of Bulgaria by claiming ippon. The Bulgarian is ranked 45th in the world.

With Shah’s fall, Pakistan’s journey also ended. Pakistan had fielded four fighters in the global event which also serves as qualifiers for the next year’s Tokyo Olympics. Mohammad Hasnain, Tokyo-based Amina Toyoda and Humaira Ashiq were the others who competed at the World Championships for the first time.

Humaira has returned to Pakistan, while Hasnain is still in Tokyo as he is set to undergo training with Shah Hussain in Japan for a few days. Meanwhile, this correspondent learnt that Shah had developed a serious pain in his elbow a few days ago that had created great trouble for the judoka during his fights on Friday.

His father Hussain Shah was happy with his son’s performance. “Shah played well,” he said. “He is working hard and I am confident that if he is able to feature in most of the qualifying events he will surely qualify for Olympics,” said Hussain Shah, who had won bronze medal for Pakistan in 1988 Seoul Olympics in boxing.

Pakistan Judo Federation's (PJF) vice-president Masood Ahmed told 'The News' that Shah had dominated the fight against Daniel. “Shah had totally dominated the pre-quarter-final against the Bulgarian but it again was seen that he is a bit weak in newaza. He will have to improve in this sector,” Shah said.

Masood said that next month Oceania Open will be held in Australia but the time was too short and they will not be able to complete the whole process, including visa. “But we definitely plan to field him in most of the other events this year and a few next year so that he could qualify,” Masood said.

“The feat in Japan will definitely bring his ranking to around 90 from the current 99. He will need a medal in a future event. Our whole focus is on Shah and hopefully he will be able to achieve his target,” he said. “We are also working to seek some sponsors so that he could be rightly backed during his mission. The state help will be of more importance,” he added.