Judoka Qaisar Afridi off to Mongolia to compete at Ulaanbaatar Grand Slam

Judoka Qaisar Afridi off to Mongolia to compete at Ulaanbaatar Grand Slam

ISLAMABAD, Jun 14 (APP): Pakistan’s ace judoka Qaisar Khan Afridi has flown to Mongolia to compete at the Ulaanbaatar Grand Slam in -100kg division,” Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) said on Tuesday.
Some 227 judoka from 28 countries will participate in the event, which is due to take place from June 24 to 26.

“Prior to featuring in the event, he will attend a nine-day training programme there, being organized by International Judo Federation (IJF) in collaboration with Mongolia Judo Association,” Masood Ahmed, vice president of PJF told APP.

According to Masood three more judokas – Hamid Ali (+100kg), Haseeb Mustafa (-81kg) and Muhammad Asif (-73kg) were also likely to depart to Mongolia in the next few days to undergo training as well as compete in Grand Slam event.

He said the federation had applied for no-objection certificates (NOCs) for the rest of the judokas. “Their case has been submitted to interior and foreign ministries and they will fly to Mongolia as soon as the permission is granted.”

“The training in Mongolia will enhance our athletes’ performance besides giving them the much-needed exposure as the world’s best judokas will also be joining the programme,” he added.
He said judokas’ participation in Ulaanbaatar Grand Slam was also very important as it would be the first qualifying round for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Masood said after participation in Grand Slam Afridi would return to the country as he had to appear for biometric verification for UK visa to participate in the Commonwealth Games, scheduled to be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8.

“Afridi along with judoka Shah Hussain Shah will vie in Commonwealth Games. Shah is training in Japan for the Games that is why we are not sending him for Grand Slam. We’ve high hopes from these two athletes as they have the potential to make a podium finish at Birmingham 2022,” he added.

Japan-based Shah, who used to fight in -100kg in the past will be making his first appearance in -90kg in the international circuit. In the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, he had won silver medal, which was also the first medal for the country in judo.