KARACHI: The Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) is about to hire Iranian coach Sajjad Kazmi again.
From 2012 to 2016, Sajjad coached in Pakistan.
A senior official from the Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) confirmed the development on Wednesday.
“Yes, we approached Sajjad through the cooperation and assistance of the IPC Ministry and the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and he accepted our offer. Hopefully he will be here by mid-May,” PJF Vice-Chairman Masood Aha Med told The News.
Sajjad is a 6 DAN black belt. Sajjad belongs to Bandar Anzali, a city in Iran’s Gilan province, and works for the Iranian police. PJF will hire his services for a year, likely until early next year when Pakistan will host the South Asian Games in Islamabad and Lahore.
During Kazmi’s last spell with Pakistan, emerging hero Qaiser Afridi was coached by him a few years ago when he was just a genius early in his career.
Sajad was also Pakistan’s coach when Japanese Olympic judoka Shah Hussein Shah won bronze medals at the Asian Championships in Kuwait and Bangkok.
“We sent a squad to Iran in 2009 and Sajjad trained them for a month. In this squad there were several talented boys who later won gold medals at the 2010 South Asian Games in Dhaka. This Means he is a capable coach and we are satisfied with his previous four years with us. He was with us until the 2016 South Asian Games in India, where we also had good results, “Massoud said.
“We have presented the case to the government and hope it will be approved and we will have him by mid-May,” Masood assured.
Sajad also served in Uzbekistan from 2018 to 2020. At the 2019 Nepal South Asian Games, he coached Bangladesh, finishing third behind India and Pakistan.
A judo training camp in Pakistan is currently underway in Quetta in preparation for the upcoming events, especially the 14th South Asian Games.
PJF plans to move the camp to any mountain area. “Yes, our plan is to move the camp to any hill station. We also wrote to the military to have a space at the PT school in Abbottabad. We also see a place in Kalam and have a partnership with DC Swat Junaid Khan has interacted with the hope that we can manage the training area in the summer. We want to keep these things in Abbottabad and Karam for three months,” Masood revealed.
“Judo is a tough competition and the fighters sweat very quickly, so it would be great if we could manage a training area in the colder parts of the country. Training here will also build the stamina of the athletes. We There are 40 male and female fighters in the camp and we will try to have them in the hill station as well,” said the PJF vice president.
This will not put any further pressure on PSB’s finances as, according to Masood, they will manage everything within the established rules of the board.
Olympian Shah Hussein plans to compete in the -90kg category in the upcoming international event, he said.
Previously, Shah competed in -100kg, the weight he built his career on, and also competed in two consecutive Olympics, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
PJF will use Judo at the Commonwealth Games, Islamic Games and Asian Games. That means Kazmi will have to play a role in building the venue for the pressing event, in addition to doing all the work for the 2023 South Asian Games and other international events in between.