Saturday September 18, 2021

Judoka Shah fancied to clear first round hurdle in Tokyo

ISLAMABAD: Shah Hussain Shah fancies his chances against African champion and world No 13 Ramadan Darwish as both the judokas will battle it out in the first round of the -100kg judo event Thursday morning at Tokyo Olympics.

In an exclusive talk with ‘The News’ through telephone from Tokyo, Shah said Darwish’s style of judo suits him.

“No doubt he is highly ranked experienced judokas but his style of judo suits me. I feel I have a chance against him if I succeed in giving my best try. Darwish is not only Africa champion but he is also renowned for his aggressive style of play. I know well that I have to give my best shot to win against him and I am ready for that.”

Shah Hussain, the son of 1988 Olympic Games bronze medalist Hussain Shah, said he would never let the chance go away easily.

“I have reached this point after years of hard work and would not let the opportunity go away so easily. I have trained hard for the occasion and am ready to go all out in a calculated way.”

In case of a win Shah Hussain will be taking on world No 1 Georgian Varlam Liparteliani in the second round.

“Even I am ready for the world No 1. I have trained hard under the able guidance of my own coaches in Japan and feel that I am ready enough to take on the best in the world,” he said.

Shah Hussain Shah took a day’s rest Tuesday to be in perfect shape for his first bout to be held Thursday at 7am Pakistan time.

“These couple of days rest is meant to be in prime form on the competition day. My training is monitored by expert coaches and as such I train and take rest according to their suggestion.”

He admitted that he was facing one of the toughest draws. “Due to multiple reasons that barred me from taking part in four big qualifying events, I have received the toughest of draws in the Olympics. Yet I am determined to put up my best efforts and not let go of the opportunity coming my way.”

Shah Hussain thanked his federation and sports bodies for making arrangements.

“I am thankful to all those including my federation who have extended full support to me enabling me to reach this point.”