ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) on Sunday said they were optimistic that judoka Shah Hussain Shah would qualify for the Rio Olympics to be held next year.
“Shah is in good shape and his performance has been up to the mark,” he said talking to APP.
PJF has announced a two-member squad for the World Judo Championship to be staged at Astana, Kazakhstan, from August 20 to 31.
Secretary PJF Masood Ahmed said Shah is currently ranked 62 out of the total 295 in the world and if he managed to win his first two contests he would qualify for Rio.
The squad includes Shah Hussain Shah and Wajahat Sarwar while official comprises Noor Shah Afridi from Fata as a team manager.
Ahmed said both Sarwar and Shah would directly leave from Japan for Kazakhstan on August 23 to feature in the event.
“The World Championship is one of the highest levels an athlete can perform at in judo. It will also be a big opportunity for our athletes to earn a spot in Rio Olympics next year,” he added.
He said just two months before Shah was at 44th number but he lost his ranking points as he remained unable to participate in three recent international events due to his university commitments in Tokyo where he recently won All-UniversitiesChampionship.
“For featuring in Rio Olympics, he should move up to at least to number 34,” he said.
Secretary PJF said he was sure that the athlete would be able to qualify for the Olympics saying, “Shah is in good shape. His performance has been up to the mark. I am sure he will make his way to the Rio,” he said.
He said we had planned to send four males and as many female athletes to participate in the championship but due to scarcity of funds we have decided tosend only two athletes now.
“Both the athletes participating in the event are Pakistan’s best judokas at present and were undergoing a tough training at Judo Academy in Tokyo, Japan,” he said adding we have arranged the best possible training for our athletes.”