By our correspondent
KARACHI: A senior official of Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) on Wednesday said that the international judo governing body (IJF) would decide next month about resumption of international activities.
“In July the IJF Executive Board would decide when events should be started keeping in view the COVID-19 situation,” PJF vice-president Masood Ahmed said.
“The Asian judo governing body (JUA) has decided to resume events from September,” the official said. “They had decided this in an online meeting of its Executive Board in Ramadan,” Masood said.
All judo events upto August have been suspended due to COVID-19 situation which has gripped the whole world. The most important events are the Olympics qualifiers. Olympics, after a year-long postponement, will now be held next year in summer in Japan.
Meanwhile Masood informed that Pakistan’s Japan-based premier judoka and Olympian Shah Hussain is doing training without any issue in Tokyo. “In Japan there is no such issue and Shah is training and also doing his job,” said Masood, also PJF Media Director.
Shah, who created history by featuring in the 2016 Rio Olympics after qualifying through continental quota, has already qualified for next year’s Tokyo Olympics on continental quota. He currently is a top seed in Asia in the -100kg with an Olympic ranking of 42.
Featuring in the remaining qualifying rounds would enable Shah to maintain his current ranking and that would be enough for earning an Olympic ticket for the second successive time.
His father Hussain Shah is also Olympian which is a rare example in Pakistan’s sports history. Hussain has won bronze for Pakistan in boxing in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
In the remaining qualifiers PJF does not seem more interested in fielding other top fighters due to financial issues. “We had fielded Japan-based Amina Toyoda in some events but in that 90 percent of the expenses had been met by her parents,” Masood said.
“I am not sure we can field others in the rest of the events. Shah is our main card and InshaAllah he will keep shining,” Masood said.