Pakistan will send two athletes to the World Judo Championship, scheduled to be held from August 24 until 29 in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Secretary Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) Masood Ahmed confirmed on Wednesday that Shah Hussain Shah and WajahatSarwar would represent the country in the event.
“Initially, we had planned to send four males and as many female athletes to participate in the championship but due to scarcity of funds we have decided to send only two athletes now,” he told APP.
He said that both the athletes were Pakistan’s best judokas at present and were undergoing strenuous training at Judo Academy in Tokyo, Japan.
“Everyone is training really hard for the championship. We have also arranged for the best possible training for the athletes.”
Ahmed said both Sarwar and Shah would directly leave from Japan for Kazakhstan on August 23 to feature in the event.
“The World Championship represents one of the highest levels of competition which an athlete of judo can perform in.
“It will also be a big opportunity for our athletes to earn a spot in Rio Olympics next year,” he added.
Ahmed was more optimistic about Shah’s chances to qualify for Rio saying that the athlete currently ranked 62 out of the total 295 in the world and if he managed to win his first two contests he would qualify for Rio.
Just two months before Shah was at 44th number but he lost his ranking points as he was unable to participate in three recent international events due to his university commitments in Tokyo where he recently won All-Universities Championship.
In order to feature in Rio Olympics, he needs to move up to at least to number 34 in the rankings.
Secretary PJF said he was sure that the athlete would be able to qualify for the Olympics saying, “Shah is in good shape. His performance has been up to the mark. I’m sure he will make his way to the Rio,” he maintained.