Oct 222017

KARACHI: Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) plans to meet the Pakistan Sports Board’s (PSB) top brass to get government’s support for build-up of its top seeds for Youth Olympics and 2020 Olympics.

“We want to field our young fighter Qaiser Afridi in the Youth Olympic qualifiers. And Tokyo-based Olympian Shah Hussain Shah and Amina Toyoda will be prepared for Olympics 2020 and for that we are going to meet the PSB in December,” PJF vice-president Masood Ahmed told ‘The News’ on Sunday.

He said that Youth Olympic qualifiers would be held from January 1 to July 23, 2018, and helping Qaiser would be very important for the country. “Qaiser is a highly talented boy. He is young and valiant and has the killer instinct. He has all qualities of a great fighter and can qualify for Youth Olympics if he is properly backed,” said Masood, a former PJF secretary.

“If Qaiser qualifies it will definitely help him in his future,” the official said.

Youth Olympics will be held in Buenos Aires from October 6-18, 2018.

Qaiser (-81kg), from Khyber Agency, has been recruited by Army on contract basis.

Masood was confident that the government would support the PJF in its mission.

He said that Shah and Amina also needed financial support of the government to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers, which would begin from next year.

“Both Shah and Amina play in the healthy judo environment of Japan. But like always they will need our support. They can earn Olympic tickets if they are helped. It is only the government which can support them,” Masood said.

Shah, son of former Pakistan boxer Hussain Shah, qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics on the basis of continental quota, but exited at the first hurdle.

“Amina, not 19 yet, is a courageous fighter and can progress. Recently she got admission in one of the prestigious universities of Tokyo on the basis of judo. She made her international debut for Pakistan at Asian Junior and Cadet Championship in India last year where she qualified for the semi-finals in -57 kg competitions,” Masood said.

Her father Liaquat migrated to Japan some twenty years ago and he works there as a driver. Her mother Keiko is Japanese.

Meanwhile, a four-member Pakistan judo team will fly out of Lahore for Abu Dhabi on October 25 to feature in the Grand Slam which begins there from October 26.

Fighters Qaiser and Imtiaz Hussain (73) will be accompanied by officials Mohammad Rafiq and Farhan Ibadat Yar Khan.

Pakistan were to send three fighters, but Mudassar Ali (60kg) was not issued visa. Shah skipped the event due to unknown reasons. Shah also skipped the recent World Championships in Hungary as he went to perform Hajj. The PJF also plans to field Shah, Amina and Wajahat Sarwar, also based in Japan, along with home-grown Qaiser in the Grand Slam slated to be held in Japan from December 2-5.

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