The hijab-clad Karate maestro Shaheen Akhtar, 52, barely looks what she is — a 4-time National Champion in Karate, chopping her way surgically in all top events worldwide, is now appointed the first and only woman ‘Officiating Referee’ at the ongoing 19th Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games in China.Packing up her bags to serve as the International Technical Official or Officiating Referee, Shaheen is a smiling but simple granny whose daughter Sana Hava and son Ayaan Ansari are also National Champions in Karate.

She learned her first Karate kicks, stances, punches, blocks and chops aged 13 while a schoolgirl at the Christ Church School, Byculla, excelled while studying for her B.Com degree from H.R. College, Churchgate and loved it enough to make it a full-fledged professional career as a ‘karateka’.