Hopes alive as Shah still has chance to make cut to Rio

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

ISLAMABAD—Shah Hus­sain is all set to be­come first Pak­istani judoka to make the cut to Olympics thanks to his re­cent out­ings in Rio qual­i­fi­ca­tions that helped him seal a place in the cov­eted sports event through con­ti­nen­tal quota.

“Ac­cord­ing to the re­cently re­leased In­ter­na­tional Judo Fed­er­a­tion (IJF) list, Shah has qual­i­fied for the Games un­der the con­ti­nen­tal quota. Though the IJF will re­lease fi­nal list on May 30, his place is more or less cer­tain,” Sec­re­tary Pak­istan Judo Fed­er­a­tion (PJF) Masood Ahmed told APP on Tues­day.

Ac­cord­ing to Masood, Shah, who turns 23 on 8th of next month has bagged the con­ti­nen­tal quota in -100kg cat­e­gory of the event by virtue of his com­mend­able show­ings in qual­i­fiers that fetched 246 valu­able points for him. “Though he failed to claim a medal in the qual­i­fiers, yet his per­for­mance has been good.

“How­ever, we are a lit­tle bit care­ful as fi­nal list is yet to be re­leased. Cur­rently, things are mov­ing in our way and if rank­ing does not change by the end of on­go­ing month, he’ll be the first Pak­istani judoka to qual­ify for the Olympics,” he added.

To a query he said that he could not say how Shah would per­form in Rio stat­ing, “It’ll be pre­ma­ture to say how well he will do in the event. But noth­ing is im­pos­si­ble. He has still time and if he works hard he’ll even have a podium fin­ish.”

He said the fed­er­a­tion would do its best to pro­vide all pos­si­ble fa­cil­i­ties to Shah to pre­pare for the event. “His Ira­nian coach Sa­j­jad Kazmi is on a two-month leave. Hence, we are con­sid­er­ing to send him to Iran so that he may get chance to train un­der his coach. We’ve also cor­dial re­la­tions with Iran’s Olympic Com­mit­tee and will re­quest them to al­low Shah to pre­pare with their Olympic squad,” he added.

There are a to­tal of 100 quota places - 60 for men and 40 for women in seven weight cat­e­gories. Europe has 25 (14 men, 11 women), Africa 24 (14 men, 10 women) Asia 20 (12 men, 8 women), Ocea­nia 10 (7 men, 3 women), while Pan Amer­ica has 21 (13 men, 8 women).—APP

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