ISLAMABAD, Aug 19 (APP):A four-member Pakistan outfit will be craving for medals at the World Judo Championships 2019, taking place at Nippon Budokan Tokyo, Japan from August 25 to September 1.
A total of 889 athletes from 151 countries will chip in the marquee event with hosts Japan, Brazil, China, Germany, Mongolia, Portugal, Russia, and South Korea fielding the maximum quota of 18 judokas each. The championships will also feature an eight-member Refugee Olympic Team for the first time.
Pakistan team is comprised of two men and as many women judokas, Shah Hussain Shah (-100kg), Mohammad Hasnain (-66kg), Amina Toyda (-57kg) and Humaira (-49kg).
“Shah and Amina are already present at the home of judo (Japan) and getting training at its capital Tokyo, while Hasnain and Humaira will depart on August 23,” Masood Ahmed, vice president of PJF told APP on Monday.
The Championships would also serve as a qualifier for Tokyo Olympics. “These championships are very important for us as winning a gold medal at them will mean a direct entry to the Olympic Games,” he said.
According to Masood the federation had expectations from Shah and Amina due to the quality training they were getting in Japan. “Our other two judokas are also highly-talented but as it would be their first appearance at the Worlds, we are not expecting instant results from them. However, we believe they’ve the potential to impress.”
He said that even if a judoka managed to win a silver or a bronze medal at the World Championships his ranking would improve a lot, which would provide him the chance to qualify for the Olympics by performing well again at some other international events.
Hasnain is the reigning national champion, who also won silver medal in the recently-held military judo championships in Uzbekistan, while nine-time national champion Humaira is the South Asian gold medalist.