KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian karate team’s campaign at the Asian Junior Championships ended on a high note with Howart Tan Jia Jie, Ivan Oh Heng Wei and Ooi San Hong delivering a gold medal in the boys’ kata cadet-junior team event.
The trio from Penang put on a splendid show to win over all the five judges in the final at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium (KLBA) in Cheras.
“We would like to thank our coaches Lim Lee Lee and Ku Jin Keat for helping us come this far,” said team captain Ivan.
“We are extremely happy. This makes all the long hours of training, sacrifice, sweat and tears worth it,“ said the 17-year-old.
Winning the gold has now whetted the appetite of the three boys.
“Our success here has encouraged us to work even harder and to become even better for next year’s World Championships,” said Ivan.
Besides the gold, Malaysia also won a silver and four bronzes on the last day of the championships.
Theebanah Jeyapal clinched the silver for Malaysia in the girls’ Under-21 above 60kg category. She was tied at 1-1 in her final bout against Ghaghelestani Behnoosh and the judges awarded the gold to the Iranian.
“I am glad that I did not lose by a big margin. But it would have been better if I had won the gold,” said Cheras-born Theebanah.
The four bronzes were contributed by Selvam Prem Kumar (boys’ Under-21 below 68kg), Adrian Ang (boys’ Under-21 above 78kg), Shobana Jeyapal (girls’ Under-21 below 60kg) and Ariana Lim Jun Yi, Chang Sin Yi and Melissa Khor Yenn Thng (girls’ kata cadet-junior team).
Malaysia finished fourth overall with two golds, three silvers and eight bronzes. They lost the third placing to Kazakhstan by a solitary bronze.
Iran emerged champions with 13 golds while Japan finished second on nine golds.