KARACHI: Judoka Shah Hussain Shah, who is one of seven athletes representing Pakistan at Rio Olympics, will play his first match on Thursday in men’s -100kg category.
The 23-year-old qualified for Rio on the basis of continental quota after the International Judo Federation (IJF) confirmed his eligibility in June.
“The confirmation is a relief,” Shah told The Express Tribune. “It’s what I’ve been dreaming of for the longest time, and now I know I have only one chance. I’m not taking this for granted in any way.”
The London-born athlete prepared for the event in Japan, where he currently resides with his father, Hussain Shah, a former Olympic bronze medallist.
Talking about his training, Shah said he has been practicing rigorously, and wants to capitalise on this golden opportunity. “I have allocated time for each activity. There is floor time, which is practice, then there is gym time, and obviously I get my medical check-up done every day because I don’t want to be unwell for this golden opportunity,” he said.
The judoka believes his father to be a source of inspiration for him, and hopes to make him proud in the Games.
Shah has 242 points on the IJF list and is ranked 55th in the world. The youngster had been competing at various international events to collect enough points for the last two years in order to qualify for Rio. He plans to go to Spain in July for further training.