KARACHI: Pakistan’s Shah Hussain Shah will train in Tashkent, Uzbekistan for the 2016 Asian Judo Championship where he will need to reach the finals in order to book his place at the Rio Olympics in August.
According to Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) secretary Masood Ahmed, the 2016 Commonwealth Games silver-medallist will need to at least defend his bronze medal in Asia to increase his chances for a place in Olympics event.
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Shah is currently ranked 47th out of 248 athletes with a total of 281 points in the International Judo Federation rankings for month of March in the -100kg category and he will also compete at the Turkey Grand Prix, which starts from March 30, while the Asian Championship will commence from April 14 in Tashkent.
“Shah is in a good position and can improve his chances [for the Olympics] with the Asian Championship,” Masood told The Express Tribune. “He will be competing in Turkey before the Asian Championship to get more ranking points and then we want him to train in Tashkent for a while as we’ve spoken to the Uzbekistan Judo Federation. It’s essential for him as we need him to continue with his record of bronze medals in Asia at least.”
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Masood further revealed that Shah was also scheduled to compete in Paris for a grand prix but visa issues forced him to withdraw from the event, however, the 22-year-old will get sufficient exposure in Tashkent for the big event.
The PJF will also send four to six more judokas, including women, from Pakistan to Tashkent for the championships, with the squad to be announced later.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2016.
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