KARACHI: Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) has finalised Japan-based Olympian Shah Hussain and Qaiser Khan Afridi for the Hungary training tour, a senior official of the federation said on Wednesday.
“Yes, we have finalised Shah and Qaiser for the tour,” PJF vice-president Masood Ahmed told ‘The International News’. “The third judoka will be decided in a couple of days,” he added. The three judokas will undergo a couple of months training at the International Judo Federation’s (IJF) renowned training centre in Dunavarsany, Hungary.
The centre has excellent facilities. The IJF sponsors the expenses of the judokas and only the air-tickets are purchased by the national federations. Judokas are expected to be sent to Hungary next month.
The PJF had requested IJF for providing training opportunities to Pakistani judokas and the effort has eventually paid dividends.“The PJF president Col Junaid Alam had requested the IJF chief during a meeting last year and so we have been able to get such an opportunity,” Masood said.
He said that the training would help judokas a lot. “You know it is one of the best training centres and training there will no doubt benefit our athletes,” the official said.“I give you an example of a Nepali girl. She had toured Pakistan for the South Asian Judo Championship in 2013 and had lost her fights against India and Pakistan. After that she went to Hungary to train at the same centre. She improved so much that she won gold in the South Asian Games in India in 2016, beating both India and Pakistan,” Masood said.
He said that their main aim was to train such players who could help Pakistan in the long run. “You know what we are doing is to enable our top players to qualify for the 2020 Olympics,” he said.
Masood also revealed that efforts would be made to also field the trio in such international events in Europe which would fall in their training duration in Hungary.“During the training duration there will be events in Germany, Poland and Czech Republic. We will try to file their entries,” the official said.
Masood said that Qaiser would also be fielded in the Youth Olympics qualifiers. “Yes, Qaiser will play in the qualifiers which have already started. In April there is a qualifying round in Uzbekistan. If Qaiser gets a medal there he will directly qualify for Youth Olympics. If not, even then it will improve his points and he will then be fielded in the Asian Cadet and Junior Championships in Lebanon in May and another qualifying round in Kyrgyzstan in June. The qualifiers will last till July 23,” Masood said.
The Youth Olympics are slated to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from October 1-6.Masood said PJF planned to send maximum players to Asian Games to be held in Indonesia in summer.
“In 2010 China Asian Games, four boys and two girls had been sent. In 2014 Incheon Asian Games only Shah Hussain represented Pakistan and finished fourth in his -100kg competitions. But this time we will request Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) for more entries for the Asiad,” Masood said.
He said that both Shah and Qaiser were sure participants of the Asian Games while quality players would be picked to fill the remaining seats.The Asian Games will be hosted by Indonesia in Palembang and Jakarta from August 18 to September 2.