Pakistan’s first-ever Asian karate champion. Abbas etched his name in history when he beat his South Korean opponent to win gold in the sub-67 kilogramme category at the Asian Karate-do Championships. He not only became the first Pakistani but also the first south Asian to achieve this feat at an event, and a sport, dominated by China, Japan and Korea.
The breakthrough propelled Abbas to the status of a serious contender at next year’s world championships, an event where he finished seventh three years ago in his maiden appearance. His run in 2011, however, extended beyond his gold-winning effort as he continued his good form to win two more gold medals at the inaugural South Asian Karate Championship, helping Pakistan top the medal table. Abbas has also been crowned champion at the 2006 South Asian Games and the 2009 Commonwealth Karate Championships. He credits his success to the training received at the Dubai-based Al-Ahali club, where he has won the Club World Cup twice, and the lucrative career offered there may force him to limit his national appearances, the first of which came six years ago.
Lack of financial incentive for karatekas in Pakistan will also play a huge hand in the Karachi-born player having little interest in representing the country regularly but Abbas’ biggest dream of winning a world championship gold for Pakistan could very well be a defining moment for the sport in the country, if achieved.
Courtesy: Express Tribune