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Wednesday February 18, 2009

Karate: Arivalagan names youngsters Syakila and Loganesha in Rotterdam team

PETALING JAYA: Two promising juniors are among five karate exponents who will be going for the Dutch Open in Rotterdam from March 7-8.

The two from the back-up squad going for their first senior European stint are Loganesha Rao and K. Syakila Salni, who will compete in the men’s below 55kg and women’s below 53kg respectively.

The two are being groomed to lead Malaysia’s charge in the World Junior Championships which will be held in Morocco later this year.

All fired up: National back-up squad's Loganesha Rao and K.Syakila Salni will be competing in the men's below 55kg and women's below 53kg respectively at the Dutch Open next month.

The three seniors selected for the Dutch Open are Asian Championships gold medallist Lim Yoke Wai (men’s below 65kg), Shaharudin Jamaludin (men’s below 70kg) and G. Yamini (women’s below 53kg).

National coach P. Arivalagan said the Dutch Open would be the first competition of the year for the exponents and would be used to gauge their form.

“I am only taking a small squad to Rotterdam this year. We will not put any pressure on them to return with medals as this is their first competition of the year,” said Arivalagan.

Elite squad member R. Puvaneswaran has pulled out from the Dutch Open because of a knee injury.

“He had the injury two weeks ago and needs another two weeks to recover,” said Arivalagan.

Malaysia won one silver and two bronze medals in the Dutch Open last year. The silver came from L. Kunasilan (men’s below 60kg) while Yoke Wai and Yamini delivered the bronze medals.

The major tests for the elite exponents this year are the Asian championships in China (September) and the Laos SEA Games (December).

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