KARACHI: Shah Hussain Shah has a good chance of going to the Rio Olympics this year, courtesy his 55th ranking with 243 points in the International Judo Federation (IJF) World Ranking List issued yesterday.
The 22-year-old’s bio on the IJF website stated that the athlete has qualified in the -100kg event on continental quota basis, which will allow the top 12 male athletes from Asia to participate in the Games.
According to Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) Secretary Masood Ahmed, Shah is ranked third in Asia.
The youngster, who had been working hard to collect enough points for the Rio Olympics for the last two years, is on the verge of making history by becoming the first judoka from Pakistan to compete at the Olympics.
“I’m 100% sure Shah’s name will be there in the final list,” Ahmed told The Express Tribune while waiting for a notification from the IJF on the final list of the qualified athletes from each continent.
The official further added that if Shah qualifies for the Olympics, the federation will seek help from the Pakistan Sports Board to provide funds for his training abroad.
“Ideally, we would want Shah to train abroad for at least two months,” said Ahmed. “We shortlisted a few places like Iran, but Shah is interested in going to Greece because they have good judokas to practice with. We’re hoping for the best.”
Shah is currently in Tokyo, where he is training with his local coach at his university.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2016.