Shah claims bronze to open Pakistan account

From our correspondent

BIRMINGHAM: Pakistan’s premier judoka Shah Hussain on Wednesday opened Pakistan’s medal account when he snared bronze in the -90 kilogramme weight category of the judo competitions of the Commonwealth Games here at the Coventry Judo Arena.

The two-time Olympian defeated South Africa’s rookie fighter Breytenbach Thomas-Laszio in the bronze medal fight to collect his second Commonwealth Games medal. He had snared silver in the -100kg in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

He won it by ippon after a two minutes and 51 seconds contest.

Shah, who featured in the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympics, was expected to claim gold but he did not start his journey well as he fell to Harrison Cassar of Australia in the quarter-finals.

Shah fought well but failed to earn a win in that fight early Wednesday morning which lasted for seven minutes and three seconds.

A senior official of Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) was happy with the win. “We needed this. It’s really great news,” PJF vice-president Masood Ahmed told ‘The News’. “He was very furious after his fall in the quarter-finals despite playing so well and in this fight he went on attack and succeeded,” he said. Earlier, Pakistan’s young fighter Qaiser Khan fell in his first round when he was undone by New Zealand’s Jason Koster in the -100kg pre-quarter-finals.

“Both played superbly in their first-round matches as no point was scored against them, but there was no coach with them,” Masood said. “A coach could have told them that their feet were outside the area,” he said.

Shah, who trained in Tokyo, was playing in the -90kg in international circuit for the first time. He had played in -100kg in his entire international career before.

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