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Shah on verge of securing Olympic berth

Shah on verge of securing Olympic berth

KARACHI: In exactly a week’s time, judoka Shah Hussain Shah could move one step closer to realising his childhood dream of participating and winning a medal at the Olympics for Pakistan, just like his father Shah Hussain did in boxing at the Seoul Olympics almost three decades ago.

On May 30, the International Judo Federation (IJF) is expected to announce its finalised list of athletes who will be handed an Olympic berth on the basis of the continental quote. And for the younger Shah, who is on the tentative list, that day can’t come soon enough.

“I’ve been chasing this dream practically my entire life,” Shah told The Express Tribune from Tokyo where he has been training diligently. “It is the ultimate prize and I’ve been working to achieve it for years, which is why I am so emotionally attached to it.”

Such is the level of Shah’s obsession with the Games that even though he has yet to receive confirmation, he has already started training for Rio.

“I want to make the country proud, not by just participating, but by winning too. Just making it to the Olympics is one thing, but winning is totally another,” said Shah. “And since anything can happen in a fight, I’m going to give it all the passion and energy I’ve got. With that in mind, I’ve been training six hours without fail every single day.”

Although he could not secure a direct Olympic berth via qualifiers, Shah feels the setbacks have made him so much more stronger — both mentally and physically.

“I have lost a lot too, but every defeat has taught me a lesson,” said a philosophical Shah.

If he gets what he so craves, Shah will not only become one of the select few Pakistani athletes participating at the 2016 Games, he could possibly be the only one to make it on merit and his own, as IJF only picks those on its quota list who rank high on their respective continental rankings.

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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