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November 15, 2019

Pak judo coaches should get trained abroad: Shah


November 15, 2019

PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s Olympian judoka Shah Hussain on Thursday said that the country direly needed a quality coach so that the standard of the national judokas could be improved.

“Here I have seen that the techniques of the judokas need to be corrected. And it would be of immense importance if Pakistan got coaches trained abroad so that they could work effectively on the techniques of the fighters,” Shah told ‘The News’ in an interview from Abbottabad after winning -100 kilogramme gold in the 33rd National Games.

This was the first time that Tokyo-based Shah featured in National Games. He represented Army. Judo competitions are being held in Abbottabad.

“A foreign coach will not be able to resolve Pakistan’s issues. If he is hired for a year or so, it won’t be enough. So it would be better if we prepared our own local coaches through various top-class courses abroad,” said the 26-year-old Shah, who was the first judoka of the country to compete at Olympics, in 2016 Rio Games.

Shah said that he saw some solid fighters in Pakistan, who needed better training. “India has improved its standard in judo because of solid coaching. We should do that too,” the two-time Asian bronze medallist said.

About his chances of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Shah said that he was very confident to be part of Pakistan’s contingent during the 2020 Tokyo Games. “Currently I am the top seed in my weight in Asia and on continental quota I have also qualified. But the issue is that I will have to maintain the position for six months or so. My plan is to further boost my ranking so that I don’t have to face any issue,” said Shah, also a 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games silver medallist.

Shah and Tokyo-based judoka Amina Toyoda, also from Army, are representing their department in the National Games.

Shah said that he was going to feature in the Osaka Grand Slam to be held from November 22-24 in Japan.

“Besides, I will feature in another event this year and then a few Olympic qualifying events next year,” Shah said.

A few months back, Shah seemed to be out of the race for Tokyo Games but back-to-back superb performances in events in Japan, Brazil and Dubai, he managed to reach 44th place in the Olympics rankings.

Shah, who returns to Tokyo on November 17, said he was satisfied with the arrangements made by the organisers for hosting some competitions in Abbottabad. “The organisation is good but the standard of the game needs to be improved,” Shah said.

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