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February 15, 2020

Saadi out of Karate 1 Premier League

Sports

February 15, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan’s experienced karateka Saadi Abbas, aiming an Olympic seat, faced first round exit in the Karate 1 Premier League in Dubai on Friday. Saadi, who had been bracketed in Pool 3, did not live up to the expectations as he was undone by England’s Joe Kellaway 12-6 in the first round of the -75 kilogramme competition.

This is a huge blow to the Pakistani fighter as he needed a big stride to create for himself qualifying chances for Olympics. He still has a few events to play to improve his points, however. Before his fight against the English fighter in Dubai on Friday, Saadi stood at the 23rd spot in the Olympic ranking.

He needs to be in the top five if he is to qualify for the Olympics. Saadi was extremely upset following his defeat. “I worked on several mistakes but a mistake which I commit usually needs to be overcome. I think it will take some more time.

I am trying but so far I have been unable to overcome that,” Saadi told ‘The News’ from Dubai after his defeat. Besides Saadi, Olympian judoka Shah Hussain is also trying to grab the Olympic seat. He has already achieved the berth on continental quota but the Tokyo-based fighter will have to maintain that until the end of the qualifiers by the end of May.

So far three shooters, a horse-rider and a javelin thrower have qualified to represent Pakistan at Tokyo Olympics. Pakistani boxers are also aiming to earn Olympic seats. They are scheduled to feature in the Asian and Oceania Qualifying round to be held in Jordan’s capital Amaan from March 3-14.

The qualifiers were slated to be held in Wuhan, China, but were postponed and shifted to Jordan because of coronavirus. Besides the continental qualifiers, national pugilists will feature in the world qualifying round to be held in Paris in May.