ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Karate Federation (PKF) is waiting for Pakistan Sports Board’s (PSB) response to their request to hire the services of a Turkish coach for the country’s top Karateka Saadi Abbas to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers.

“We wrote to the 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 Mohammad Jahangir told APP.

He said only the coach of the team can make a request to the referee for an immediate review of the video replay in case of an objection to a judgment of the refereeing officials during a Karate contest as long as they have an appeal quota.

“The PSB needs to understand how important the role of a coach is in a game”, he said.

Speaking about the remaining 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 and Spain in April,” he said adding the federation was doing all efforts to support the two-time Commonwealth Karate Championships gold medalist.

Saadi’s Olympics ranking is 19th. He needs to be among the top five to make it to 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 and will instead participate in the upcoming 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.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2019