ISLAMABAD, Apr 07 (APP):Pakistan’s Japan-based judoka Shah Hussain Shah will be looking to solidify his Olympic Ranking when he will take on Tevita Takayawa of Fiji in his first contest of Asia-Oceania Senior Championships at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on Thursday.

“The championships act as Tokyo2020 and will help Shah gather maximum points to better his position for the prestigious sports event [Olympics],” vice president of Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) Masood Ahmed told APP on Wednesday.

Around 195 competitors – 112 men and 83 women from 29 countries are taking part in various weight divisions of the championships that commenced on Tuesday and will end on Saturday.

The 27-year-old Shah, who fights in the -100kg division, had already earned a spot in the Tokyo Olympics on continental quota but to maintain his current position he will have to continue to follow the adventure of the Olympic qualification races till their culmination in June, this year. “That’s why we’ve decided to field him in all major international events, which will serve as Olympic qualifiers,” Masood said.

“Next month, we’ll send him to Russia where he’ll compete in Kazan Grand Slam 2021, scheduled to be held from May 5 to 7.

“Then, he’ll be featuring in the crucial World Championship Seniors 2021, scheduled to take place at Budapest, Hungary from June 6 to 13,” he added.

Shah with 1026 points holds 50th position at the Olympic Ranking chart, while his opponent, while his opponent Tevita with 349 points is at number 88. The 24-year-old Tevita has also qualified for the Olympics on Oceania continent quota.

According to International Judo Federation, the world ranking will be frozen from June 28 and the list of qualified Olympic athletes will be formalised.

The Olympic quotas are perfectly identical between men and women. There will be 176 men, 176 women, plus 14 host country places and 20 wild cards, to a total of 386 Olympic judo athletes.

The first eighteen athletes of the world ranking will automatically qualify, according to the rule of one athlete by National Olympic Committee (NOC), by weight category.

As far as the qualification via continental quota is concerned, each continent has been allocated one ticket. There can only be a maximum of one athlete per NOC, who can qualify through continental qualification, across all weight categories and genders.