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Wednesday October 30, 2013 MYT 6:19:00 PM
Wednesday October 30, 2013 MYT 7:21:25 PM
by lim teik huat
The Malaysian boxing team (from left: Mirage_khan, Lee Wei Loong, coach Khoo Meng Yang and Tang Pei Pin) are ready for the challenge at the 12th World Wushu Championships beginning this Friday in Kuala Lumpur. - The STAR
KUALA LUMPUR: Sanshou (Chinese boxing) exponent Mirage_khan (formerly known as Mohd Meeraj Omar) wears spectacles with a relatively strong power of +4.50 but don’t be misled by his looks.
Take off the glasses and it’s all a blur. But there is no mistaking the 22-year-old’s ability to land a potent punch.
Fresh from returning from a month-long training stint in the Chinese city of Xian, Mirage_khan aims to go all out to score a first for Malaysia in the World Wushu Championships, which begin in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
Mirage_khan, of Pakistani-Malaysia, will be able to focus solely on that target now that he’s back to being single.
“I just broke off with my girlfriend a few days ago ... while I was still training in China. Now, there’s no distractions ... I’m sad but I have to move on,” said the six-foot tall Mirage_khan, who returned home from China on Sunday.
“I tend to get into a raging mood, especially when I have a fight coming up. But it’s okay, no girls and I’m putting all my focus into the world championships.
“I want to get the gold medal and then I will go into boxing. I have received offers to turn pro but, for now, I aim to become a wushu world champion.
“I am half blind when I get into the ring but don’t ever underestimate me. Even Bruce Lee was short-sighted and I know where to hit.
“The only thing is that I only have one year of experience and I’ll be up against exponents who have been at this for some time.”
No Malaysian exponent has ever made it to the final in any of the weight categories at the world meet but he’s hoping to change all that.
Mirage_khan has already won silver medals in sanshou at the Asian Championships and World Cup in China last year in the below 90kg category.
But, this time, he is moving down to the below 85kg category to give himself a better chance at striking gold.
That means shedding all the excess weight before the official weighing-in on Thursday.
“It’s not easy losing two kilos at this time. I cannot drink water or eat too much but I’ve got to make sure I keep up my energy level. I’m also going to the sauna to shed some weight,” said Mirage_khan, who has not lost any of his kickboxing and MMA bouts so far.
In China, Mirage_khan trained with some of the top boxers there, including world champion Huang Lei.
And he admitted that it was an eye-opener for him.
“I was the only non-Chinese guy there and I can tell you that every session daily was tough,” said Mirage_khan.
“We would just beat each other senseless day and night in training and then go back to our beds to rest.
“I was also the only one who did not speak Chinese but I began to understand what they were trying to tell me after a while.
“I’m happy to have experienced this as I know I want to learn all I can and get ready for the world meet.”
Malaysia’s previous best in this discipline was a bronze through Lew Chee Wai (men’s 75kg) in the 2005 edition in Vietnam.
Lee Wei Loong and Tang Pei Pin are the other Malaysian sanshou exponents in the world meet.
Meanwhile youngster Yeap Wai Kin is aiming to be the first Malaysian double winner – at junior and senior levels of the world meet.
The 20-year-old bagged a double gold for Malaysia in changquan (barehands northern style) and jianshu (Chinese sword) in the World Youth Wushu Championships in Singapore in 2010, which got him promoted to the senior side.
Besides changquan and jianshu, Wai Kin will also be competing in qiangshu (spear); and combine with Ho Mun Hua and Lee Yang for the duailian (dual) event.
It won’t be easy for Wai Kin to deliver a medal from each event but he is optimistic of shining in jianshu.
“That’s my favourite event ... I’m strong in it. I believe I can win a medal ... provided I don’t slip up, of course,” said Wai Kin who credits his father (Yeap Peng Hoe) for introducing him to the sport when he was only 12 in Penang.
He also said that the one-month training in Foochow, China, in September had helped boost his confidence.
“This is the first time I’m competing in the world championships at the senior level. I hope to give a good account, based on what I’ve learnt in China,” he said.
The other exponents in the Malaysian squad for the world meet are Lee Yang, Loh Jack Chang, Mun Hua, Ng Say Yoke, Ng Shin Yii, Diana Bong Siong Lin, Tai Cheau Xuen, Chai Fong Wei, Phoon Eyin, Tan Jia Guan, Mirage_khan, Wei Loong and Pei Pin.
Wai Kin and Phoon Eyin, who will compete in women’s changquan, jianshu and qiangshu, are the two newcomers for the world meet.
Despite the absence of two-time Asian Games gold medallist Chai Fong Ying, Malaysia are confident they can repeat their previous best of four gold medals from the 2005 edition in Vietnam.
Eighty countries have confirmed their participation in the 12th edition of the championship.
Tags / Keywords:
Mirage Khan, wushu
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