ISLAMABAD      -     Pakistan Karate Federation (PKF) is still awaiting to hire the services of a Turkish coach for the country’s top karateka Saadi Abbas in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers.

“We wrote to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) two months ago, for roping in a foreign Turkish coach to better prepare our only Olympic hope Saadi, but we have not yet received any reply from them,” PKF Chairman Muhammad Jahangir said.

He said only the coach of the team can make a request to the referee for an immediate review of the video replay in the case of an objection to a judgment of the refereeing officials during the Karate contest as long as they have an appeal quota. “The PSB needed to understand how important the role of a coach was in the game,” he said.

Speaking about the remaining 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers, Jahangir said Saadi was to feature in a number of rounds to improve his ranking and then the final Olympic qualification round would be held in Paris in May. “The rounds would be held in Dubai in February, Austria and Morocco in March, Spain in April,” he said and added the federation was doing all efforts to support the two-time Commonwealth Karate Championships gold medalist Saadi.

Saadi’s Olympics ranking is 19. He needs to be among the top five to make it to the next year’s Olympics. He further said Saadi would not be featuring in the Karate 1 Premier League scheduled to be held in Madrid next month, as to participate in the National Games and South Asian Games.

“Saadi would be coming to Pakistan for participation in the 33rd National Games to be held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa next month. After that he would be going in the 13th South Asian Games to take place in Kathmandu and Pokhara in December,” he said.