Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Judoka Sabir Shah clinched a gold medal after taking down Army’s Shan Ali in 10 seconds during their fight in the 90kg category in the ongoing National Games.
Shah defeated Ali, the favourite, in an astounding 10 seconds to take home the first-ever gold medal for KP in the history of Judo at the National Games.
Before reaching the final, Shah took down ath-letes from Wapda, Balochistan and Police. During the current National Games, this is Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s second gold medal.
Shah, alongside Navy’s Hamid, will also repre-sent Pakistan at Judo’s international event in Russia next month.
Earlier, two-time Olympian judoka Shah Hussain on Wednesday said that he will not be able to feature in the forthcoming Asian Games and 2024 Olympics Qualifiers because he is not in a position to prepare accordingly.
“No, I don’t have any plan to either feature in the Asian Games or Olympics Qualifiers,” Shah told news men in an informal chat said that he is repre-senting Army in the judo competitions in the 34th National Games.
“The big issue is that it’s too costly to prepare professionally for these events, especially the Olympics. I cannot afford to spend from my own pocket at this moment,” Shah said.
Shah is the only Pakistani judoka in history who featured in the Olympics and that too twice by qualifying for the world’s major extravaganza on the basis of the continental quota both times. He did so in the 2016 Rio Olympics and 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
However, he failed to impress in both the Olympics. He had started featuring in the 2024 Olympics Qualifiers a few months ago and played in three successive events in Abu Dhabi, Perth and Baku and in Perth’s Grand Prix he delivered well which also boosted his world rankings and it showed that Shah would qualify easily for the Olympics. But due to financial constraints, Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) failed to send the country’s top lot including Shah to a few qualifying events. Although still there is a chance to qualify for the Olympics, Shah is not ready for the hard task due to various reasons.
Shah now targets the South Asian Games which Pakistan is supposed to host early next year.—APP