Shah Hussain falls at the first hurdle in Tokyo Olympics

By our correspondent
LAHORE: Pakistan’s top judoka Shah Hussain faced an exit door at the first hurdle when he was undone by Egypt’s Ramadan Darwish in the first round of the judo competitions of the Tokyo Olympics today.
In the -100 kg fight Shah did well to keep his opponent quiet for almost three minutes but it was not enough as the former world bronze medallist made a superb comeback in the end to emerge victorious.
This was the second successive occasion that Shah had to face exit in the Olympics at the first hurdle. He had been beaten by a Ukranian fighter in the first fight in the 2016 Rio Games.
Shah’s father Hussain Shah told from Tokyo that he was disappointed by his son’s loss in the first fight.
“I did not expect this,” Hussain said.
“He had laboured hard but the loss was something unexpected for me,” said Hussain, also the 1988 Seoul Olympics bronze medallist boxer.
Meanwhile in a press release Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) tried to defend Shah’s performance.
“He played very well and did not let former world bronze medalist and current African champion Ramadan Darwish play his aggressive judo, the style he is famous for. Ramadan tried many techniques but all were neutralised by Shah. However, Shah made minor mistakes while countering those,” the PJF said.
“Darwish is a senior world No 13 who had earned 37 international medals including 17 golds in various continental and Grand Slams. The confident-looking World No 50 Shah applied techniques and forced the renowned aggressive judoka to be defensive to the extent that his opponent was awarded “penalty of defensive posture,” the PJF said.
Shah received three shidos (light penalty), first one due to stepping out of combat area, second by defensive play and last one for escaping with head. These three light penalties resulted in hansoku make (accumulated light penalties), which declares another opponent winner,” PJF explained.
“Experts also mentioned that former bronze medalists could not do major and won merely in an untraditional way,” the PJF said.
THe PJF vice-president Masood Ahmed said: “It is a fact that despite every effort there was no comparison of the exposure between both opponents. After finishing seventh in Rio 2016, Darwish had more than 70 international appearances whereas Shah could feature in around 20 international arenas.”
Darwish in the next round lost to World No1 in the same way Hansaku machi (3 light penalties.

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