KARACHI: Pakistan’s most successful karateka, Saadi Abbas, believes the 2016 World Championships will be his last chance to win a gold medal in his career as he plans to retire later this year.
Abbas, 27, has already proven his mettle by becoming the 2011 Asian Champion and in 2014 became the only Pakistani to win the US Karate Open.
However since that win, Abbas has been keeping a low profile and began working at a multi-national company while only competing for Al-Ahli Club in the UAE.
“It was a very deliberate attempt to distance myself from karate for a bit,” Abbas told The Express Tribune. “This way I learnt other things and I’m doing very well for myself. However, my heart still lies with karate, and as much as I try to stay away from it, I still want to go for that one last chance at the World Championships.”
Abbas further revealed that he has completed a sports management diploma from Sochi Olympic University and someday hopes to enter the field of coaching by getting a master’s degree from the Olympics University.
But first, his eyes are set on Austria where the 2016 World Championships will take place in October. Abbas added that he would come to Pakistan to raise some funds for himself and look for corporate sponsors, but he is sceptical about getting any support from the government or the Pakistan Sports Board.
“Everyone appreciates the achievements but nobody ever came forward to sponsor me and that was an eye-opener. But I’ll try again because my plan is to take two months off from my work and go to train in Iran and other countries to prepare for the World Championship,” said Abbas.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2016.
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