ISLAMABAD-Shah Hussain is set to become first Pakistani judoka to make the cut to Rio Olympics 2016, thanks to his recent outings in Rio qualifications that helped him seal a place in the coveted sports event through continental quota.

Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) secretary Masood Ahmed Tuesday confirmed to The Nation and said: "According to the recently-released International Judo Federation (IJF) list, Shah has qualified for the Games under the continental quota. Although the IJF will release final list on May 30, yet his place is more or less certain."

Masood further said that Shah bagged the continental quota in -100kg category of the event by virtue of his commendable showings in qualifiers that fetched 246 valuable points for him. "Though he failed to claim a medal in the qualifiers, yet his performance has been good. However, we are a little bit careful as the final list is yet to be released. Currently, things are moving in our way and if ranking does not change by the end of ongoing month, he will be the first Pakistani judoka to qualify for the Olympics."

“Shah Hussain is almost guaranteed Rio direct berth, and he had rewritten history books and would become the first player who had the honour of representing Pakistan through qualification not through wildcard, but the final decision would be conveyed to the PJF and Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) on May 30 by the IJF as per their rules,” he added.

Masood said Shah bagged the continental quota in -100kg category of the event by virtue of his commendable showings in qualifiers that fetched 246 valuable points for him. "Though he failed to claim a medal in the qualifiers, yet his performance has been good, however, we are a little bit careful as final list is yet to be released. Currently, things are moving in our way and if ranking does not change by the end of ongoing month, he'll be the first Pakistani judoka to qualify for the Olympics," he added.

Replying to a query regarding the performance of Shah in the Rio Olympics, Masood said he could not say about it. "It will be premature to say how well Shah will do in the mega event. But nothing is impossible and he has still time and if he works hard, he will even have a podium finish."

He said the PJF would do its best to provide all the possible facilities to Shah to prepare for the Olympics. "Shah’s Iranian coach Sajjad Kazmi is on a two-month leave. Hence, we are considering to send him to Iran so that he may get chance to train under his coach. We have also cordial relations with Iran's Olympic committee and will request them to allow Shah to prepare with their Olympic squad," he added.

There are a total of 100 quota places - 60 for men and 40 for women in seven weight categories. Europe has 25 (14 men, 11 women), Africa 24 (14 men, 10 women) Asia 20 (12 men, 8 women), Oceania 10 (7 men, 3 women), while Pan America has 21 (13 men, 8 women).

Earlier on Monday, Shah lost his contest in Almaty, Kazakhstan against Rafael Buzacarini of Brazil in the Group B preliminary round of the Grand Prix, which was the last qualifying event for Rio Olympics.