Saadi Abbas – a prominent karate athlete in Pakistan has sought the government’s help in providing funds so he can take part in the qualifying round of the Olympics.
“In 2018 Olympic qualification rounds begin which include World Premiere League, Asian Championships, Asian Games and World Championships,” Abbas said in a video appeal. He emphasised the need to take part in these events to get the ranking required for Olympic qualifying.
The athlete did say funds were being provided for basic facilities such as housing and food, however, this was not enough. “Professional facilities which are required by an Olympian of an international standard are not being provided. We are also not sent to every tournament which leads to Pakistani players being left behind.”
In September, Saadi placed fifth in the World Karate 1 Series A Karate Championship organized by the World Karate Federation in Istanbul. He is a two-time Commonwealth Champion, US Open Champion, Asian Gold Medalist (only gold medalist of South-Asian region), South-Asian champion and a silver medalist in fourth Islamic Solidarity Games 2017.
Saadi is the second athlete this week who has made an appeal for support. On Monday, boxer Mohammad Waseem expressed he might not fight for Pakistan in the future as he had not received any sponsorship offers.
“I have an upcoming world title fight and before that, I have a fight in Colombia, it is quite worrying for me as I do not have any sponsors,” Waseem said in his video appeal.