PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) will be sending two judokas belonging to separate weight categories to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday for the World Junior Championships, scheduled to take place from October 23-27 in the UAE.
U19 judoka Nadeem Akram and U17 athlete Iftikhar Ahmad, both Army players, are set to leave for Abu Dhabi in the early hours of Tuesday.
Akram, who will take part in the -73kg category, said that the international exposure he received at the 9th Asian Cadet and 16th Asian Junior Judo Championships would go a long way in helping him compete in the world championships.
“Although I was unable to finish with a prominent position in Thailand, I believe the experience would be crucial for me in the UAE,” Akram, who hails from Narowal, told The Express Tribune.
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On the other hand, Faisalabad-based Ahmad said he secured seventh place in the same championship that Akram took part in, but in the 55kg category.
More than 20 athletes — including girls — from departments such as Army, HEC, Wapda as well as provinces are participating in the national judo camp at the Qayyum Stadium in Peshawar.
Later, a selection of the best players in the camp will be made available for participation in the South Asian Judo Championships, which is expected to be held in India in early 2016.
Iranian coach Sajjad Kazemi, who has been working with the PJF since 2012 and is supervising the camp, revealed his long-term plans for the country’s sport. “Currently we’re preparing for all national and international events, but my main target is to pull together a good enough team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” said Kazemi.
Meanwhile, Japan-based Wajahat Sarwar will also join the Pakistan team in Abu Dhabi for the world championships.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2015.
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