Pakistan coach Sajjad Kazmi is hopeful of unearthing fresh talent as the country’s judo federation prepares to find players for the national team ahead of the South Asian Games that take place in India this September.
Kazmi, who said he was unimpressed with the talent in the country when he first arrived from Iran, is now working on scouting young blood in the Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) Talent Hunt Programme that got underway in Peshawar yesterday. According to the PJF, the programme has been organised to form the Pakistan ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams with Kazmi’s role in the two-day event very crucial.
A total of 28 players currently training with Kazmi will be shortlisted for the seven available slots. Players from 10 sports departments will be chosen for nine men’s and six women’s weight category events in the talent hunt.
“The situation is better now,” Kazmi told The Express Tribune. “When I came here, fitness was an issue. You can have all the talent in the world but you can’t win unless you’re fit. Weight was one issue and we’ve worked on that. Every athlete is training according to the weight event they will take part in.”
Meanwhile, according to PJF Secretary Masood Ahmed, players shortlisted from the talent hunt will be sent to Chinese Taipei for more exposure.
“We’ve been preparing for the South Asian Games for a while because we want to successfully defend our title,” said Ahmed. “Kazmi’s help and restructuring the national camp is a start.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2012.
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