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Wednesday November 19, 2008

Malaysia welcome extra category

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian women’s karate exponents will have a better chance to boost the country’s medal haul in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou with the introduction of a new weight category.

The World Karate Federation (WKF) Congress met in Tokyo during the world championships last weekend and approved changes to the different weight categories for kumite.

The women now have the same number of weight divisions as the men, bringing the total number of individual events in all international championships from January to 12.

The new weight categories for women are: below 50kg, below 55kg, below 61kg, below 68kg, above 68kg and Open. For the men, they are: below 60kg, below 67kg, below 73kg, below 84kg, above 84kg and Open.

The previous weight divisions for women were: below 48kg, below 53kg, below 60kg, above 60kg.

For the men, they were: below 60kg, below 65kg, below 70kg, below 75kg, below 80kg and above 80kg.

Malaysia Karate Federation secretary Clement Soo, who is also the vice-president of the Asian federation, said: “The next Asian Games in Guangzhou will see the new categories contested. There is now an extra women’s event. We have always done well in the lower weight categories. Therefore, we hope it works in our favour.”

The Malaysian contingent won the most number of medals in the 2006 Doha Asian Games from karate — four silvers and three bronzes.

Meanwhile, the WKF Congress also accepted China as their latest affiliate.

China have also been picked to host the next Asian Championships in Shanghai in September. And Belgrade will host the next world championships in 2010.

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