Indian federation recognises Pakistan’s talent in judo

Saturday, May 31st, 2014 5:35:50 by

KARACHI: Judo Federation of India (JFI) President Mukesh Kumar has predicted a bright future for Pakistani athletes, adding that the judokas have great potential.

Kumar confirmed the formation of a joint camp between Pakistan and Indian female judokas on Friday. He said that the Pakistan team will serve as partners in India’s training sessions for the Commonwealth Games.

“We had a meeting and I proposed that the Pakistani female judokas should come to our national training camp,” Kumar, who is also the secretary of the Asian Judo Union, told The Express Tribune. “This camp was initially planned for May, but now it will hopefully take place in the first week of July in Bhopal.

“I asked our Pakistani counterparts to send us the details of the athletes they want to send. We invited our neighbouring athletes so that they can also train with our Korean coach, who is preparing our team for the Commonwealth Games. It will not only benefit them, but will also give the Indian team some good partners.”

Indian will field a 14-member judo squad in Glasgow. Kumar said that his team has a god chance of winning the title in the Commonwealth Games too. The archrivals last faced each other at the 2014 South Asian Championship in Nepal a month back.

India emerged as the champions in the event, while Pakistan secured second position with outstanding performances by the country’s female athletes.

Kumar praises Pakistan female, male athletes

Gold medallist Humera Ashique, silver medallists Mariam Jabbar and Beenish Khan, bronze medallists Ambreen Masih, Shumaila Gul and Fauzia Mumtaz and emerging talent Aqsa Hussain, Rabia Babar and Iran Shahzadi have been short-listed by the Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) for the Indian camp.

“The Pakistan women’s team performed really well in the South Asian event,” acknowledged Kumar.

“As for the male judokas, their athlete Shah Hussain Shah, who trains in Tokyo, is quite focused. I can say that he is even better than my male athletes. His ambition will take him far.”

Kumar further said that the JFI will support its neighbours in the future as well.

Meanwhile, PJF Secretary Masood Ahmed said that training with the Indian athletes will provide excellent exposure to Pakistani athletes.

“The Indian female team is very strong,” said Ahmed. “It’s an opportunity for our players to learn from one of the best judokas in the region.

He added that Pakistan will not be sending a team to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow due to the conflict between the Pakistan Olympics Association’s parallel bodies.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2014.

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