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Published: Friday December 13, 2013 MYT 7:11:00 PM
Updated: Friday December 13, 2013 MYT 10:40:31 PM

Theeban loses kumite gold by just one point

G. Theebaan (right) lost 1-0 to five-time SEA Games gold medallist Umar Syarief in the final of the men’s kumite below 84kg category on Dec 13, 2013.

G. Theebaan (right) lost 1-0 to five-time SEA Games gold medallist Umar Syarief in the final of the men’s kumite below 84kg category on Dec 13, 2013.

NAYPYITAW: G. THEEBAAN was only included in the SEA Games squad two months ago – after he won the men’s kumite below 84kg category in the national championships in Kuala Lumpur.

On Friday, he surprised Malaysian karate officials by reaching the final in the SEA Games.

The 23-year-old Kuala Lumpur exponent, who almost gave up the sport after undergoing a knee injury in 2009, however lost 1-0 to five-time SEA Games gold medallist Umar Syarief in the final.

Only seven exponents competed in the event and SEA Games debutant Theebaan had no problem defeating Duangvilai Sengpheng of Laos 4-1 in the quarter-finals.

He performed much better in the semi-finals when he eliminated Vietnam’s Pham Quang-duy 5-0.

He then gave it his best shot in the final but lost out on experience.

Theebaan said that although he was happy to reach the final in his first SEA Games, he was devastated to lose the final by just one point.

“It was a close match and the Indonesian exponent got the one point in the last 20 seconds of the bout. I lost because I lacked experience,” said Theebaan.

“However, this silver is a turning point in my career as it will motivate me to continue to train harder and do better in international competitions.”

Malaysia also won a bronze in the women’s kumite through Jamaliah Jamaluddin in the below 64kg category.

The 29-year-old Jamaliah, who won the gold in Korat (2007) and Laos (2009) Games, lost to Vietnam’s Lang Thi Hoa 3-2 in quarter-finals.

In the repecharge, Jamaliah beat Poe Ei Phyu of Myanmar 6-0 for the bronze.

Jamaliah, who is featuring in her fifth SEA Games and who also won a bronze in Jakarta two years ago, was not too disappointed with finishing third for the second time.

“I gave my best against my Vietnam exponent ... I was just unlucky to lose (3-2) by one point,” she said.

Thi Hoa beat Wiwi Pertiwi of Indonesia 8-0 to win the gold medal.

Tags / Keywords: karate, kumite, Theebaan, Jamaliah Jamaluddin

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