Pakistan ousted from world judo event

Sunday, August 31st, 2014 3:42:42 by



KARACHI: 

Pakistan’s Commonwealth Games silver medallist Shah Hussain Shah and South Asian Games gold medallist Ahmed Shehzad Butt suffered through lack of form at the World Championships in Chelyabinsk on Saturday.

Shah lost his first round fight to Canada’s Reyes Kyle on a ‘niwaza’, a knock-out in judo, in the 100kg category.  On the other hand, Shehzad faced his Mongolian opponent in the pre-quarterfinal and showed resistance for four minutes before losing through fowls.

“The fights were interesting and despite losing, our players gained confidence,” team manager Asif Iqbal told The Express Tribune. “Shehzad performed valiantly. He only lost because of the fowls. In Judo, if a player commits three fouls, he automatically loses. Meanwhile, Shah fell on niwaza. But overall it was a good experience for the Pakistani judokas.”

Earlier, Syed Samiullah lost to Cuba’s Pena Janier in the 60kg event.

Federation satisfied, backs athletes

Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) Secretary Ahmed Masood said that the participation in the World Championship was important as it served as a qualifier for the 2016 Olympics.

“I still believe that Shah can win us medals,” said Masood. “The championship is tougher than the Commonwealth Games.

“Our players had a chance for gaining ranking points. We’ll have more qualification tournaments, so I’m hoping for the best. We don’t discriminate players on one performance or on personal differences. In fact, we are satisfied with their performance as they’ve improved.

“Earlier, Pakistani athletes couldn’t last 10 seconds in international matches, but this time Samiullah fought for 55.”

Masood said that all the federation now asks from the government is grants and funding to send the talented judokas for the Olympic qualification rounds.

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

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