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Published: Saturday December 14, 2013 MYT 8:28:00 PM
Updated: Sunday December 15, 2013 MYT 10:52:33 AM

Karate girls Nisha, Syakilla deliver 2 more golds (updated)

A. Nisha (left) in a file photo. She edged Mae Soriano of the Philippines 3-2 in the finals of the kumite below 55kg category to win the gold medal on Dec 14, 2013.

A. Nisha (left) in a file photo. She edged Mae Soriano of the Philippines 3-2 in the finals of the kumite below 55kg category to win the gold medal on Dec 14, 2013.

NAYPYITAW: Karate exponent Syakilla Saini Jefry is ready to fill in the shoes of Asian silver medallist G. Yamini, who retired two months ago due to knee injury.

The 21-year-old Syakilla proved she has the potential to be one of the top kumite exponents in Asia after winning the gold in the women’s kumite below 61kg category here on Saturday.

Syakilla, who is from Klang, fought hard to edge Vietnam’s Le Thi Thuy by one point (1-0) in the final.

In the quarter-finals, the Malaysian beat Thailand’s Arm Sukklaw 2-0. She then faced a stiff challenge from Myanmar’s Nway Nway Zaw Win before winning 3-2.

Syakilla, who won the bronze in Jakarta two years ago, was in tears after the final.

“I never thought that I’d win the gold as I faced a strong challenge from the Myanmar exponent in the semi-finals. She landed a kick on my face but the referee did not award her any points,” said Syakilla, who added that she is ready to step in and replace the retired Yamini.

“It is unfortunate that Yamini had to retire after failing to recover from a knee injury. However, I will continue to train harder to win a medal in the Asian Games in Incheon next year.

“In the Jakarta SEA Games in 2011, I won the silver in the team and the bronze in the individual event. I want another gold in the women’s kumite team event tomorrow.”

It was a magnificent day for Malaysia in karate on Saturday, winning four golds, one silver and three bronzes in the kumite.

The fourth gold came courtesy of pint-sized A. Nisha in the women’s kumite below 55kg category.

The 25-year-old Kuala Lumpur exponent beat Myanmar’s Win Thuzar Min 1-0 in the quarter-finals before eliminating Luangrath Ninthida of Laos 8-0 in the semi-finals.

In the final, she beat Filipino Mae Soriano in a closely fought match 3-2.

Nisha said she was confident of winning the gold after hammering the Laos exponent 8-0.

“I trained hard for a year and nothing was going to stop me from winning my first ever gold medal in SEA Games,” said Nisha, who only bagged a bronze in Jakarta in 2011.

Mohd Hatta Mahanut, who won gold in Jakarta, only managed to get a bronze in the men’s kumite below 84kg category.

The other bronze was won by L. Kunasilan in the men’s kumite below 55kg category.

After two days of competition, Malaysia have won six golds, two silvers and five bronzes – surpassing the three-gold target set by the Malaysian Karate-do Federation (Makaf).

Tags / Keywords: karate, Malaysia, Myanmar, SEA Games, Naypyitaw, Nyapidaw, Nisha, Syakilla Saini Jefry

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