ISLAMABAD, Oct 10 (APP): Pakistan will field a strong and well-prepared judo outfit in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, scheduled to be held from October 28-30.
“The training camp for the three-day event will kick off from Thursday at Pakistan Sports Complex Islamabad,” Secretary Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) Mansoor Ahmed told APP on Monday.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam follows editions in Paris (FRA), Baku (AZE) and Tyumen (RUS) and will have an interesting field of judoka in a post-Olympic climate.
Mansoor believed that the event would not only be a test of Pakistan’s promising judokas but would also help them improve their rankings.
“Although there would be over 120 judokas participating in the event, our judokas have a perfect chance to finish at the top as world’s top judokas are on rest after Rio Olympics,” he remarked.
He expressed the gratitude to Pakistan Sports Board for helping the federation to hold camp for the event. “We’ve also requested the board to arrange a long-term camp for the future two to three events,” he said.
The PJF has invited eight male and five female judokas of different weight categories to attend the camp. The boys to attend the camp are: Nadeem Akram, Qaisar Khan, Iftikhar, M. Shoaib, Imtiaz hussain, Fayyaz Butt, Kamrat Butt and Javed Khan, while the girls include Asima, Iran Shehzadi, Kiran Shehzadi, Aqsa Hussain and Attiqa.
“We’ll pick the best lot from these judokas,” Mansoor said adding that the training camp would be supervised by WAPDA’s coach Jamil Khokhar, while Pakistan Army’s coach Fakhar would act as his assistant.
“We are also trying to send Shah Hussain Shah for the event. He is in Japan these days. We’ve talked to him and intimated him that he can improve his world ranking by finishing at the top in the event,” Mansoor added.
Japan-based Shah, who fights in -100kg weight category, was the only athlete from Pakistan, who sealed a spot at Rio Olympics under the continental. However, he remained unable to claim any medal in the world’s coveted multi-sports event. Pakistani swimmers, shooters and runners, who had been given wild card entry for the event also performed poorly.