KUALA LUMPUR: National junior exponent Sahril Ismail virtually won himself a place in the senior team with the victory in the finweight competition of the MTA-Magnum National Championships at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil here yesterday.
The 17-year-old Sahril of the Bangsar Taekwondo Fitness Centre showed that he was the best fighter in the country with a 3-2 win over Daing Daniel Fitri of the Kuala Lumpur Taekwondo Centre in the final.
Sahril hoped the win would be the start of winning titles in senior tournaments.
“This is the second time that I have won a gold medal in the national meet,” said Sahril.
“Last year, I won a gold in the flyweight. But then, I was still concentrating on the international junior tournaments. Now, I want to focus solely on winning honours in senior tournaments.
“With the win today, I am sure I will get a place in the senior national team. In fact, I will be leaving for Taiwan this Sunday to compete in their Open tournament.
“My aim is to make the squad for the SEA Games in Manila next year and go on to compete in the next Olympics.”
The Form Five student of Taman Datuk Harun Secondary School added that he had enjoyed mixed fortunes in his two years as a national junior.
“I won most of the local junior titles and in the international arena, my best achievement was winning a silver medal at the world junior meet in Athens in 2002,” said Sahril, who won the gold medal in the Negri Sukma (Malaysian Games) in May.
“But I suffered a horrible experience last year. I tore my ligament during a semi-final bout in the Olympic junior tournament in Australia and it put me out of action for six months. This year, I won a bronze in the world junior meet in South Korea.”
Meanwhile, the Kung sisters of Sabah failed to make it a grand double.
National trainee Josephina retained her bantamweight title but the younger Josephine, who is making a comeback following a knee injury, had to settle for a bronze in the finweight division.
Middle: 1. Mohd Fazmi Nuarzami (Warisan), 2. Samsudin Ismail (For), 3. Khoo Chin Han (Pen) and Ismail Othman (For).
Bantam: 1. Josephina Kung (Sab), 2. Nur Syazwani Abdul Razak (Gemilang), 3. Ani Nazrina Ariffin (Lab) and Izwyn Zulkapri (Taerobics).
Light: 1. Lee Pei Pen (Taerobics), 2. Judah Edip (Sab), 3. Maszuin Mohd (Sel) and Toh Kee Mee (MA Academy)
Middle: Ling Sie Ling (Swk), 2. Siti Rizita Zainon (For), 3. Norzaini Izhak (Prk).