ISLAMABAD-Pakistan’s pride judoka Shah Hussain has said that he has high hopes of winning gold medal for Pakistan in the South Asian Judo Championship in Nepal.

Talking to The Nation, Shah Hussain, son of famous boxer Hussian Shah, said he feels happy, safe and secure to be here in Pakistan. “I have won six international medals for Pakistan including gold medal in SAF Games and silver medal in Commonwealth Games, while he also won two bronze medals Asian Judo Championship, while finished sixth in Asian Games last time around.”

He said he will fly to Nepal on April 18 or 19 and during his stay in Islamabad, he will train along with fellow judokas. “The federation has been taking good care of me and providing air ticket and accommodation for international events. As I am based in Tokyo, Japan, I trained there, while as all know, Pakistan Judo Federation is not financially strong, so they can’t help me financially, but Army do take very good care of ne and provide me monthly stipend. But for training hard, I need an international trainer and a quality coach, which will further boost the chances of winning gold in international events.

“I am seriously thinking about taking part in +100kg weight category fight. After the South Asian Judo Championship, I will appear in Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. The competition there will be very tough, but I am training very hard and if the federation arranges a trainer and coach for me in Tokyo, it will help me a great deal.

“I request Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi to allocate special grant for me. I promise that I will never let down the country and will do my best to win laurels for the country at any given stage.

“We don’t lack when it comes to training, fitness or skills are concerned, but we lack behind due to modern day coaching, lack of trainers and long training camps. I have to train at my own, as no one is there to check my flaws and help me rectify my mistakes,” he added.

Shah Hussain said after Asian Games, he has to train for World Championships and other mega events and then off course for Olympics. “Without having coach and trainers, no one can perform well at mega international events. We have quality judokas, who, if provided with training and international exposure, can easily become the best in the business. But we need facilities, coaching, training and international exposure to excel at international level.”

He said that Pakistani athletes have always produced wonders for the country in such limited resources, while the federation in their limited resources is trying its best to provide whatever they can. I feel the IPC and the PSB should step forward and after watching performances of the federations, who are producing satisfactory results, they should be given hefty incentives, as it is the only way of producing medal-winning performances.”

Shah Hussain said he always loves to represent Pakistan despite living in Japan. “I represented Pakistani flag not for money, but just because my father was also a champion and he had served the country for several years. I had opportunities to train with university fellows and also with national team players, but I didn’t have personal coach and a trainer. If such things are provided, I feel my performances will further flourish. Only fighting with Japanese players won’t help, as I have to fight against top professional athletes.

“I met with PSB Acting Director General Amer Ali Ahmed and had an introductory meeting with him. I need to fight against top athletes to stand realistic chances of doing well at big stage,” Shah Hussain concluded.