The 21-year-old Pakistani judo star, Shah Hussain Shah, missed out on the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday but lifted the spirits of the nation back home.
The youngster, who wanted to carry on his father’s legacy, boxer Hussain Shah, won Pakistan’s solitary medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. His father had won Pakistan’s only Olympic medal in boxing in 1988.
Shah won the silver medal and lost the final to a local judoka Euan Burton 110-0 in the -100 kg competition. Shah’s silver medal has, however, been nothing less than a victory for Pakistan, according to the Pakistan Sports Board official Akhtar Ganjera.
“His silver medal is more than a victory, hearing our anthem played at the ceremony was overwhelming,” said an emotional Ganjera, who is accompanying the 61- member contingent in Glasgow.
“His feat is like someone has breathed life into our entire squad. So far, we haven’t had any victory in the Games. Our whole contingent, even players from other sports, is just going crazy over this,” he added.
Judoka Shah made his way to the final after defeating Trinidad and Tobago’s Christopher George in the first round, Australia’s Duke Didier in the second round, and crushed New Zealand’s Tim Slyfield in the semi-final.
According to Ganjera, 35-year-old Burton’s experience helped him win against Shah on Saturday.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2014.