Wednesday Oct 23, 2019
ISLAMABAD: Japan-based judoka duo Shah Hussain Shah and Amina Toyoda will represent the country at Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2019, commencing on Thursday.
“The competition is also a test event for 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Both Shah and Amina have reached Abu Dhabi in pursuit of their ultimate dream to earn a spot in the quadrennial sports extravaganza (Olympics) by accumulating maximum points there,” vice president of Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) Masood Ahmed told APP on Wednesday.
Around 603 competitors, 351 men and 252 women from 104 countries will contest in various weight divisions of the three-day event.
Shah will contest in -100kg men weight division wherein on Thursday he will face challenge from Ukrainian top judoka Anton Savytskiy in the elimination rounds.
The 20-year-old Amina will take on Pauline Starke of Germany in her first fight of elimination rounds in -57kg women division.
Her last notable appearance in an international was in September 2016 when she participated in Cadet Asian Championships and finished fifth in the event.
Masood said that PJF’s main focus was Shah, who with 386 points was currently at 61st position on International Judo Federations’ (IJF) Olympic ranking list.
Amina with 23 points is at 159th position on IJF Olympics women ranking list in her category.
“No doubt, we are concentrating on Shah as he has the potential to claim an Olympic spot, but Amina is also a highly talented athlete.
She is there as her family insisted that she should also feature in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam.
“If she lives up to the billing and wins a medal then her Olympic ranking will see a tremendous boost and she will be in the contention for the prestigious sports event (Olympics).
Then we’ll talk to Pakistan Sports Board to also get financial support for her like Shah Hussain and give her more chances in an attempt to enable her qualify for the Olympics,” the PJF vice president.
“We’ll field Shah in a number of more events before the end of year as we are sure he’ll qualify for the coveted event on continental quota,” he stated.
Shah must be at number 54 and maintain that position till May 30, 2020, which is the deadline for obtaining points for Olympic qualification.