Shah Hussain off to Kazakhstan to avail last Rio chance

Islamabad—Japan-based and son of an Olympic bronze-medallist boxer, judoka Shah Hussain launches a tough bid in Kazakhastan on Thursday to improve his world ranking from no.52 to no. 40 by capturing a gold medal, enough for him to qualify for August’s Olympics at Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
Shah Hussain left here on Tuesday for Kazakhstan to feature in the only remaining qualifying round for Rio Olympics.
“This is the last opportunity for Shah to make a debut at Olympics.
Now, he must win a gold medal to represent the country in the world’s most prestigious multi-sports event,” Secretary Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) Masood Ahmed told APP.
The last qualification round for Rio Olympics will kick off in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Thursday.
The world no. 52 Shah, who competes in the -100kg weight category is the son of Pakistan’s former Olympic bronze medallist boxer Hussain Shah. As per qualifying rules, he must be at no. 34 to make it to Rio.
But, Masood said, there was also a continental quota and if Shah earned a gold in Almaty qualifiers, he would get over 100 points and jump to 40th ranking, which would also confirm his entry in the Games.
“Though world’s top judokas have already qualified for Rio, we are not taking this event lightly. Everybody will be putting up his best to win gold. Shah is expected to face tough challenges from his opponents,” he added.
He said he was thankful to Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) for backing PJF’s efforts to win a Rio ticket. “We sent Shah to almost every Olympic qualifiers and that was only possible with the help of PSB. “When I told the PSB management that we had still a chance to earn a berth before the qualification deadline ends on May 29, we were not only given a go ahead signal but also full financial support to send Shah for the event,” Masood added.
He said that Shah was given a lot of international exposure during the past two years but to prepare an athlete for Olympics at least four years were needed.—APP

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