Tuesday Dec 03, 2019
Pakistan’s top karateka Saadi Abbas has set his sights on the Tokyo Olympics after winning a gold medal at 13th South Asian Games in Nepal.
After clinching his gold medal in the regional sports extravaganza in Kathmandu, Saadi said that he hoped to see Pakistan on the podium in next year's Olympics.
The karateka is currently ranked at 23rd in the Olympic qualification ranking. The top 5 players will earn a place in the Tokyo Olympics on the basis of ranking and Saadi has five more raking tournaments to improve his current position.
"There are tournaments in Paris, Dubai, Morocco, Spain and Salzburg. After that there will be a qualification round in May," Saadi told Geo.tv.
"I am putting in my full effort but I need the government's support. I need a proper training program and coaching staff which can be possible only when Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) is there to support us," he added.
The medal in South Asian Games is Saadi’s 16th international gold medal. He had also won a gold medal in 2006 South Asian Games.
The karateka is also a two time Commonwealth Championship winner and four time South Asian Championship holder. In 2011, Saadi had also won gold in the Asian Karate Championship.
And, he is among genuine medal prospects for Pakistan in Olympics.
"It's never too late, we can sit down and discuss what can be done for Olympics," he said.
Saadi said that he was happy and proud to win the gold medal in the games.
"I have won several gold medals for my country at various levels but hearing the national anthem abroad always makes the victory special for me," he said.