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February 15, 2020

Saadi makes early exit in Dubai Karate 1 Premier League

Sports

February 15, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan's experienced karateka Saadi Abbas, aiming 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 was indeed a huge blow to the Pakistani fighter as he needs a big stride to create for himself qualifying chances for Olympics. He still has a few events to play, an opportunity for the Dubai-based fighter to improve his points.

Before his fight against the English fighter in Dubai on Friday Saadi stood at the 23rd spot in the Olympic ranking. He needs to come in 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 has 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 for Tokyo Olympics to be held coming summer.

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, earlier, were slated to be held in Wuhan, China, but were postponed and later shifted to Jordan due to outbreak of coronavirus.

Besides the continental qualifiers national pugilists will also feature in the world qualifying round to be held in Paris in May.