Karachi: Pakistan’s Saddi Abbas, 2014 US Open and 2011 Asian Karate Championship winner, is aiming to become the first Pakistan karateka to represent the country at the Olympics, however, he needs the support of the government to fulfil his objective. Karate was not part of the Olympic programme in the past but the International Olympic Committee announced in 2015 that the sport would be part of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Abbas has been the best karateka from Pakistan with an impressive career that began with winning the South Asian Games in 2006 and then going out to making his name internationally.
While Abbas enjoyed a good career with UAE’s Al-Ahli Sports Club during his time-off from representing Pakistan, the former Lyariite feels it is an opportunity of a life-time to have a chance of representing Pakistan at the Olympics.
He said that he went to the World Championships in Austria last year and still had his ranking among the top 100 players in the world. But in order to even compete at the Olympic qualification rounds, he would need to improve his rankings in the series. The Olympics will only feature top 10 athletes in the main draw; all he can do is making sure that he is among the top 10 in a year’s time as the Olympics qualification round will start next year. That is if he gets sponsors and so far the response has not been very encouraging.
He will need to feature in at least eight out of 10 World Series events this year to have a chance to qualify for the Olympics. Abbas, on the other hand, has worked up a plan to start a karate league in Pakistan and he is hoping to begin this year.