First judoka from Pakistan: Shah confirms spot in Olympics
KARACHI: Shah Hussain Shah will be the first Pakistani judoka to compete at the Olympics as the International Judo Federation (IJF) confirmed that the 2014 Commonwealth silver-medallist is eligible to take part in the Rio event on continental quota.
Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) Secretary Masood Ahmed said he received the confirmation from the international body yesterday.
Meanwhile, 22-year-old Shah says he is treating the opportunity to compete at the Olympics as his first and last chance to prove himself.
“The confirmation is a relief,” Shah told The Express Tribune. “Ever since my name appeared in the tentative list last month, I’ve intensified my training. It’s what I’ve been dreaming of for the longest time, and now I know I have only one chance. I’m not taking this for granted in any way.”
Shah knock, knock, knocking on Rio’s doors
Shah has 243 points on the IJF list and is ranked 55th in the world. The youngster had been competing at various international events to collect enough points for the last two years in order to qualify for Rio.
He plans to go to Spain in July for further training.
Shah further said he wants to earn a medal like his father Shah Hussain, who remains the only boxer from Pakistan to win an Olympic medal.
Shah on verge of securing Olympic berth
“Anything can happen at the Olympics. I’m not going in as a nervous athlete, I’m going in with a lot of confidence,” said the youngster. “My father tells me I can do it, and my coach tells me that rankings don’t matter as he lost in the first round of the Olympics in his time despite being a world champion.”