KARACHI: Pakistan’s star karateka Saadi Abbas has requested the federal government to hire for him the services of Turkish coach Yavuz Karamollaoglu so that he could prepare well for two Olympic qualifying rounds.
“I have been saying repeatedly for the last four years that I need a coach. If I get Yavuz, it will help me a lot ahead of the two Olympic qualifying events in the next few months,” Saadi told ‘The News’ from Dubai on Friday.
“If I am able to make it to the Olympics then there will be a medal chance. Our event in the Olympics will be held on league basis and there I can go for a medal,” the former Asian champion said.
“I worked with Yavuz before the 2018 Indonesia Asian Games and before the Baku Islamic Games. And his few days’ tips enabled me to produce solid performance in the Asian Games,” said Saadi, also a former two-time Commonwealth Championship gold medallist.
Yavuz’s credentials are very solid. He is a level-4 coach. He has also remained head coach of Turkey’s senior karate team.
As an athlete, Yavuz has won six medals in the World Championships and nine medals in the European Championships.
“I used to get tips from Yavuz whenever I went to Turkey. If you have a coach you go according to his plan. Without a plan you cannot win a medal,” said Saadi, who is currently at No24 in the Olympics standings in the -75 kilogramme category. He has to appear in the Olympics qualifying round in Morocco in April and the direct qualification round to be held in Paris in June.
In June’s event, there are 24 Olympics places. The top three fighters in each weight category will qualify for Tokyo Olympics.
“Before these two events, I want to play a couple of other events in order to check where I stand as I will be fighting after a long time due to Covid issues,” said Saadi, also US Open champion.
Besides these chances of direct qualification, Saadi also has a golden chance of representing the nation in Olympics by earning a place of IOC Tripartite Commission. There are 104 places of IOC Tripartite Commission in 16 sports disciplines. IOC has already shortlisted 92 NOCs for the purpose. The basic purpose behind this move is to help those nations appear in Olympics whose athletes cannot directly qualify for the world’s most prestigious extravaganza.
Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) has already sent Saadi’s name for competing for the same slot if he fails to qualify for Olympics directly.
“Yes, I have a chance on that as well but I don’t think about that as I am focusing on direct qualification,” said Saadi, who is on the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) scholarship which has enabled him to feature in the Olympic qualifying events so far.
“I am thankful to the POA for helping me get the IOC scholarship as without that I could not feature in Olympic qualifying events,” said Saadi, who is currently training in Dubai.
He says he is catching rhythm. “I am regaining top fitness. I have also reduced my weight and am coming into top form,” he added.
Source: The News