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Published: Monday December 16, 2013 MYT 5:13:00 PM
Updated: Monday December 16, 2013 MYT 5:24:37 PM

Karate’s got the chops to deliver more

The Malaysian Karate team surpassed their five gold medal target at the Myanmar SEA Games by winning seven golds - five in kumite (combat) events and two from kata (pattern).

The Malaysian Karate team surpassed their five gold medal target at the Myanmar SEA Games by winning seven golds - five in kumite (combat) events and two from kata (pattern).

THE karate exponents have done the nation proud at the SEA Games, once again.

The Malaysian Karate-do Federation (Makaf) had set a target of winning three gold medals while the National Sports Council (NSC) wanted five.

There were 17 golds at stake in the three-day competition but the national karate exponents did exceptionally well to win seven – five in kumite and two in kata.

This is better than their achievement in Jakarta two years ago, where they won four golds in kumite events.

It was their best ever achievement since winning nine golds in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in 2001.

The future of karate looks bright as most of the gold medallists are still young and can compete in the next two SEA Games.

Penang’s Lim Chee Wei, who won two golds in men’s kata – individual and team – is only 22 years old.

Debutant S. Senthil Kumaran of Dengkil won a gold in the men’s kumite below 60kg and he is only 21 years old.

Syakilla Salni Jefry of Klang and S. Shree Sharmini of Kulim – gold medallists in the women’s kumite below 61kg and 68kg categories respectively – are both just 21.

A. Nisha, who won a gold in the women’s kumite below 55kg category, is the oldest at 25.

Sharmini, Syakilla and Nisha also won gold in the women’s kumite team event.

The good news is that all 20 exponents – 12 men and eight women – who featured in Naypyitaw will return home today with at least a medal.

NSC director general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong praised the exponents for their excellent performance in Naypyitaw.

“I am really happy with the karate exponents ... they have never failed to deliver the golds in the Games.

“They did the nation proud and we are happy with Makaf for producing good karate exponents after the retirement of R. Puvaneswaran, Ku Jin Keat and G. Yamini,” said Zolkples.

Puvaneswaran and Jin Keat were gold medallists in the kumite and kata events in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.

Yamini was also a medallist at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, winning the silver in women’s kumite.

Zolkples said the karate exponents are still young and must aim to do much better in the next two SEA Games in Singapore and Malaysia in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

“We will discuss with Makaf next year’s programme, especially in preparation for the 2014 Incheon Asia Games in September.

“We definitely want karate to deliver by winning the gold in the Asian Games,” said Zolkples.

Tags / Keywords: SEA Games, Naypyitaw, Myanmar, karate

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