Judokas Hussain, Amina to feature in the Asia-Pacific event

Judokas Hussain, Amina to feature in the Asia-Pacific event

KARACHI: Japan-based judokas Shah Hussain and Amina Toyoda are set to represent Pakistan in the Asia-Pacific Championships Seniors 2019 to be held in Fujairah, UAE, from April 19 to 22.

The duo would first come to Pakistan on April 17 and would then fly to Dubai on the same day. “Because of the flight issue we opted that they should come first to Pakistan on April 17 and on the same day they will proceed to the UAE,” a senior official of Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) told ‘The News’.

The official said that Qaiser Afridi was not going to the UAE event because of injury. “He is a gutsy fighter but he was not fit and so we decided to keep him away of the event,” the official said.

The official said that the competitions would help the federation to examine the performance of the duo. “We will see how they perform. Both are in good shape and are doing tough training in Tokyo,” the official said.

The performance of Shah Hussain would be of great value and it would also determine whether he would be given more chances this year and half of next year to make an attempt to qualify for the 2020 Olympics.

Shah is the only judoka of Pakistan who has played in Olympics. He had done so in 2016 Rio Olympics where he exited in the first round in the -100kg slots. Shah had qualified for Olympics on continental quota.

Former PJF secretary and the current vice-president Masood Ahmed will accompany the squad as manager cum coach. Both fighters belong to Army. After having impressed in the Asian Junior Championships in the past Amina was dogged by injuries that kept her away of international circuit.

“She is now fully fit and we expect she will do her best in the UAE,” the official said. The PJF official said that all would depend on draws. “If our fighters got good draws then anything can happen. You know we have already beaten Oceania states but central Asian states are tough to beat,” the official said.

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