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Shah on track to qualify for Olympics: PJF

Sports

July 4, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Judoka Shah Hussain Shah is moving in the right direction to qualify for the Olympics as he has retained the top position for the continental quota, said Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) president Col (r) Junaid Alam while talking to ‘The News’ here on Friday.

“Shah has attained enough points to guarantee a place in the Olympics provided that no fresh qualifiers are organised. Even if any qualifiers are organised, Shah will only have to maintain his positon which I believe he can,” said Junaid.

Shah is currently in Japan training alongside some of the best judokas of his category.

“He is lucky to have gained enough points to stay at the forefront. With a bit of luck and favourable draws in the coming days, we may see him going to qualify directly for the Olympics. Shah is a hard working individual,” said Junaid. “He has no match in the region. We are thankful to the Ministry of IPC which extended help for his training last year that resulted in him getting maximum points for continental quota. Some qualifiers are likely to be held during the first half of 2021. In that case, government’s further support will be needed for Shah’s training. Rs1.5 million — that we received last year — has been spent on his training and participation in international events,” said the PJF president.

When asked how much grant his federation had received from the government this week, his reply was “nothing”.

“The amount mentioned is what the federation got for Shah’s training. The money was spent solely on his training and we received nothing else.”

The PJF president added that the government’s support to judokas was direly needed under the prevailing situation.

“We have some very talented athletes with us. Hamid, who belongs to Navy, is totally raw and a newcomer to this profession. Yet he won gold medal for the country at the 13th South Asian Games in Nepal. I preferred him over one of Army’s judokas because I thought he had the potential to surprise other South Asian athletes. Army’s judoka was a national champion while Hamid lost to Shah in the final of the National Games. Yet he was preferred and he proved us right. Hamid has the potential to surprise many in coming years. Qaiser Afridi is yet another up and coming judoka. We need continuous support to make them world beaters,” said Junaid.