S. Shree Sharmini (individual kumite, below 68kg) is among six exponents who were promoted to the senior karate squad for doing well at the Myanmar SEA Games last December. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Karate-do Federation (Makaf) have rewarded six juniors with promotion to the elite squad for their success at the Myanmar SEA Games last month.
The four boys, all from the development squad, are S. Senthil Kumaran (individual kumite, below 60kg), R. Sharmendran (individual kumite, below 67kg), Govinash Raja Kumar (team kumite) and Sharrma Jayaram (team kumite). S. Shree Sharmini (individual kumite, below 68kg) and Nur Eleena Anis Abdul Malik (team kumite) are the two girls given the elevation.
The six exponents contributed three golds out of the seven won by Malaysia. Senthil was victorious in the individual kumite while Shree Sharmini bagged two golds (individual kumite and team kumite with Nur Eleena). Sharmendran clinched an individual kumite silver as well as another silver in the team event with Govinash and Sharrma.
“Sharrma has been performing consistently well and that justifies his inclusion in the elite team. He’s a versatile fighter and it’s important to elevate his status as we see him as a back-up and natural complement for Shaharuddin (Jamaluddin). He’s only 21 years old and he’s got youth on his side to keep on improving,” said Makaf honorary secretary Vincent Chen.
“For the girls, there was no reason not to promote Shree Sharmini. She’s never failed to spring a surprise and bring home the results as she proved at the SEA Games. As for Eleena, we want her to fill up the lightweight category in the elite squad,” added Vincent.
None of the kata exponents, however, was promoted.
“We did not demote any of the exponents either. But we want them to step up their game and perform better,” said Vincent.
He added that MAKAF would look to fill in the six vacant spots in the development squad after the Chinese New Year.
“We will invite all the medallists from last year’s Makaf Junior Championships to attend an intensive training programme and then go through to selection trials next month,” said Vincent.