MALAYSIA will be represented by a five-member team at the World Kickboxing Championships starting in Heraklion, Greece, today.
The five — Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Farouk, G. Marahathananggai, S. Santhia, Tia Siddle and Shannon Liew — are members of Xtreme Kickboxing and Martial Arts Academy based at Plaza Damas in Sri Hartamas. Coach AVS Bathi Allimuthu is heading the delegation while Erina Camilla is accompanying the team as a referee.
Mohamad Ridzuan will be fighting in the men’s 80kg light contact, Marahathananggai (women 60kg light contact and Korean division), Santhia (junior women 50kg and Korean division), while Tia and Shannon will be in action in the KidsKorean Division.
Bathi said all five trained diligently and had bright chances of being on podium.
“We have been sending our exponents to take part in the championships for the past 11 years, and they have won medals every year. Likewise, based on their progress and commitment in training, we can expect them to return with medals. All five of them are highly motivated and want to do well for the country,’’ said Bathi.
Since April, the exponents have been training daily for the World Kickboxing championships. They also took part in selected kickboxing championships to gauge their progress.
“The local competitions are an excellent platform to evaluate the exponents. We also identified their shortcomings.
“We have been working on improving their tactics and techniques.
“Our fighters will face strong rivals from Europe. There are a lot competitions in Europe and their exponents will be well prepared.
“But our exponents have the skills and determination. To win a medal, our fighters have to go through about five to six bouts. We have faith in our exponents. They will be ready for the challenge in Greece,’’ said Bathi.
After the championships in Greece, Bathi will accompany two exponents — Shannon and Daniel Stanlan — to the Unified World Championships in Tuscany, Italy from Oct 31 to Nov 2.
The championship is unique and the first ever event involving six World Martial Art Bodies.
Bathi said Malaysia’s representatives are looking forward to the championships.
“Daniel is 10 and Shannon is eight. Both have been training since they were about five. The boys will participate in multiple events under the age, weight and rank catogeries. It will be an eye-opening session for them. Many of the martial art legends will be there.
“It will be a great experience for them to learn and see multiple styles and the unlimited development and opportunity of martial arts. Both Daniel and Shannon should be able to learn a lot during the championships,’’ added Bathi.