Saadi to feature in Tokyo’s Premier Karate League
KARACHI: Experiencing a surge in his ranking recently following his input in the Asian Karate Championships Pakistan’s premier karateka and sole 2020 Olympics hope Saadi Abbas will now feature in the Karate 1 Premier League which would be held in Tokyo from September 6-8.
“It is my next target,” Saadi told ‘The News’ on Tuesday. “Although due to my wedding issues I could not train the way I should have but now I have diverted my attention towards the event in Japan. I am going to feature in the National Karate Championships which is being held in Lahore from August 23-25,” Saadi said.Saadi has already reached Lahore for the national event. He resides in Dubai.
He was quick to add that he had already missed Canada Open, stressing, he would not like to miss any other event as it was very important to ensure his presence in every assignment which would help him confirm his Olympic seat.
Saadi recently has reached 18th ranking as per Olympics ranking. He will need to come among top five fighters at the end of the qualifying phase next year.Pakistan Karate Federation’s (PKF) chairman Mohammad Jehangir told The News that he expected a lot from Saadi as he was their lone hope for the next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Qualifying for Olympics would be a great feat from the iconic Dubai-based fighter as he has solid credentials as a karateka, having won the Commonwealth Championship title twice, lifted the Asian Championships and the US Open tiles besides claiming silver in the Baku Islamic Games.
Jehangir said that it was because of the Indus Motor Company (IMC) which was helping Saadi to ensure his presence in every Olympic qualifying event. Saadi plays in -75 kilogramme competitions.
In the National Championship in Lahore he will represent Wapda. Jehangir said that as state was so far unable to sponsor camps for the South Asian Games, holding camps by departments for the National Championship would also help the fighters prepare for the National Games and South Asian Games.
National Games are slated to be held in Peshawar from October 26 to November 1 while South Asian Games are penciled in for December 1-10 in Nepal’s cities of Kathamndu and Pokhara.Besides the Tokyo assignment Saadi in the next few months will have to feature in handful of Series A and Premier League events.