Shah loses fight at Grand Slam Antalya but set to improve Olympics ranking

ISLAMABAD:Pakistan’s -100kg judoka Shah Hussain Shah went down fighting hard in the second round of Grand Slam Antalya, Turkey against Khurramov Mukhammad Karim of Uzbekistan on Saturday.

The Japan-based Shah, who is committed to Tokyo Olympics got a bye in the first round but lost his second fight in 2 minutes and 56 seconds with two Wazari against Khurramov in an epic judo show, according to information made available here by Pakistan Judo Federation’s (PJF) vice president Masood Ahmed.

“Shah, whose Olympics ranking is 50 put up a good show against Khurramov, who is currently at number 16. Unfortunately, Shah lost the battle, but still, he will get much needed points and his ranking will improve,” he told reporter.

According to Masood, Shah had already qualified for the 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 are also sending him to three other major international events, which will serve as Olympic qualifiers. Tomorrow, he’ll fly to Kyrgyzstan, where he’ll be vying in the Asia-Oceania Senior Championships that take place in Bishkek from April 6 to 9.

“Next month, he’ll proceed to Russia to feature in Kazan Grand Slam 2021, scheduled to be held from May 5 to 7.

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

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.