Friday May 20, 2022

Shah Hussain still undecided on Paris Olympics

January 20, 2022
Shah Hussain still undecided on Paris Olympics

KARACHI: Japan-based two-time Olympian judoka Shah Hussain Shah has said that results in the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games will decide whether he should play the 2024 Paris Olympics or not.

“It is yet to be decided whether I should play in the Paris Olympics or not,” Shah told ‘The News’ in an interview from Tokyo.

“It mainly will depend on my performance in the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. In the Commonwealth Games, anything less than gold will not be enough for me this time. And I should also this time secure a medal in the Asian Games. These two events are very important in my opinion and they will decide whether I should go for pressing for a seat in the 2024 Paris Olympics or not,” Shah said.

The Commonwealth Games are slated to be held in Birmingham, England,from July 28 to August 8 while Hangzghou, China, wil host the Asian Games from September 10-25.

In his last Commonwealth Games appearance in 2014 in Glasgow, which was also a debut Games for Shah, he had won silver medal. And Shah also shot to fame because of that fine feat.

Shah, although, has claimed two bronze in the Asian Championships, but is yet to clinch any medal in the Asian Games. He had finished fifth in the 2018 Indonesia Asian Games. He has played two Asian Games in Incheon and Indonesia in 2014 and 2018, respectively.

Shah also wants this time to qualify directly for Olympics.

“This time I will try to qualify for Olympics directly because we have a couple of other fighters in the shape of Qaiser Afridi and Hamid as they also should go for pressing Olympics seat and they will then fight on continental quota if they are able to improve their rankings,” Shah said.

Shah in both 2016 Rio Olympics and 2020 Tokyo Olympics played on the basis of the continental quota which is a sort of indirect qualification.

Shah said that he has started training, adding, Japan government is also mulling lock-down and it will be seen how the things go.

However he was quick to add that he is confident to prepare well for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games which are his main targets.

“I am working hard but in future it will also depends on the state’s support and how much opportunities I will get to train well. It is yet premature to determine what will happen but hopes for a good preparation is always there. I am focusing on that,” Shah said.

“Until 2018 Asian Games my ranking was not good but I trained for a couple of years with a Japanese coach and I was able to improve very much my rankings and that helped in the end as I made it to the Tokyo Olympics,” Shah said.

“I also talking to a coach if he give me more time so I will engage him. My former coach of Japan, who had accompanied me during Tokyo Games, is also on my radar. Let’s see what happens,” Shah said. He also made it clear that he has decided to play in the -90 kilogramme weight category in the coming international events.

Asked whether he would be able to reduce 30kg weight as he is now 120 kg Shah said it was not an issue.

“I will be able to reduce 20 kg soon as it is not an issue and will then try to reduce the remaining 10 kg slowly and gradually until I will appear in the Commonwealth Games,” Shah said.

This is the first time that Shah has decided to change his weight category. He used to play in -100 kg before deciding to change his weight. Shah also lauded talented fighter Qaiser Afridi.

“Qaiser’s level has boosted a lot. He also tried to beat me during the national event recently in Peshawar. He has the guts of a champion fighter,” Shah signed off.

Qaiser has recently got bronze in the Asia-Oceania Judo Championship in Beirut, Lebanon.