Tuesday January 18, 2022

Judokas Qaiser, Sajjad reach Beirut for Asia-Oceania Juniors

December 03, 2021

KARACHI: Pakistan’s promising judokas Qaiser Afridi and Sajjad Khan Haqqani have reached Beirut to feature in the Asia-Oceania Junior Judo Championships which will be held from December 4-5.

In the event 127 competitors from 17 nations are set to feature. Sajjad will feature in the -90 kg competitions. He is the eighth seed in the group, carrying nine competitors.

This will be a debut event for Quetta-born 20-year-old Sajjad.

Qaiser Afridi, meanwhile, will be a big medal hope for Pakistan in the event. He will play in the -100 kg, featuring nine fighters. He is the eighth seed.

Qaiser, who belongs to Qambarkhel tribe of Bara, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has to his credit gold in the 2019 Nepal South Asian Games. He clinched one silver and two bronze medals in the Asian Junior Championship besides snaring bronze in the 2016 South Asian Games held in India.

He has been the national champion since 2015.

Qasier is confident to snare gold this time in the continental event. “Last time I clinched silver and this time I am confident to secure gold,” Qaiser told ‘The News’. The 20-year-old Qaiser was an automatic choice for the Olympic Qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics but fitness issues forced him to stay away.

Qaiser said that he was targeting the 2024 Paris Olympics. He added that in order to prepare well, Pakistan needs an updated foreign coach.

He also wants to train for Olympic Qualifiers in Japan as he said that more technical judo is played there. He is also eyeing Russia where he can achieve speed.

The 20-year-old Sajjad recently snared gold in the -90 kg in the national event held in Quetta. He also finished with a silver medal in the open category in the same event.