KARACHI: Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) Secretary Masood Ahmed expressed his disappointment after national judoka Shah Hussain Shah failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics due to his loss in the quarter-final of the Asian Judo Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan over the weekend.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games silver-medallist finished a lowly fifth in the -100kg event after being defeated by Mongolia’s NaidanTuvshinbayar, who then went on to win the tournament.
“Shah did not qualify for the Olympics as only the finalists were to qualify for Rio,” Ahmed told The Express Tribune. “He should have at least reached the finals, so we are disappointed.”
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Mongolian and Central Asian players from Kazakhstan, according to Ahmed, dominated the championship, while Shah — ranked 52nd in the world — underperformed at the event.
“With Shah we haven’t understood the problem yet. He has all the talent, but somehow he didn’t deliver the way he was supposed to,” said Ahmed. “Now we are going to wait for the Judo Union of Asia to name a few more athletes for Rio Olympics, who would compete on a continental quota.”
To push their case, PJF has also written to the International Judo federation to promote athletes from less developed countries at international events.
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“The chances are very slim now for Rio Olympics but we can hope,” added Ahmed.
The team is scheduled to return back to Pakistan today.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2016.
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