Pakistan’s Japan-based judoka Shah Hussain Shah will feature in Dusseldorf Grand Slam as part of his ongoing campaign to earn a direct qualification to 2020 Tokyo Olympics by jumping up in the ranking list.
The three-day event will commence on February 21 in Dusseldorf, Germany wherein 790 competitors – 465 men and 325 women from 121 countries will by vying in different weight divisions.
“Currently Shah is undergoing training in Paris where he had gone to participate in last week’s Grand Slam event. After spending some more days there to hone his skills he will proceed to Germany,” Masood Ahmed, senior vice president of Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) told APP on Wednesday.
Shah, who had already made it to the Olympics under continental quota faced a second round exit in Paris Grand Slam after losing to Sviryd Mikita of Belarus in the -100 kg bout, last week. In the first round he had overcome Saneblidze Onise of Georgia.
The 26-year-old, who had also represented Pakistan at 2016 Rio Olympics under continental quota had once again qualified for the quadrennial extravaganza under the same system. Masood said that it was necessary for the athlete to maintain his current position till the conclusion of qualification rounds. “At the moment, Shah is top seed Asian judoka in in his weight division. In Olympic rankings he is at number 41. We are providing him more and more opportunities to enable him to further improve his ranking. He can also directly qualify for the event but for that he should be among top 25,” he added.
Besides Arshad five other Pakistanis have earned spots in Tokyo Olympics. They include Arshad Nadeem (Men’s Javelin Throw), Usman Khan (Equestrian), Mohammad Khalil Akhtar (Shooting), Ghulam Mustafa Bashir (Shooting) and Ghulfam Joseph (Shooting).
Pakistan have won a total of ten medals in Olympics to date with eight of them coming in hockey. It has won two individual medals in the Olympics [both bronze medals] – one in wrestling in Rome in 1960 and the other in boxing in Seoul in 1988.—APP