GEORGE TOWN: Penang always put up rookie exponents for karate’s kata (non-combat) individual events at every Sukma Games. But the results never change – Penang always end up winning both gold medals.
At the Miri City Stadium in Sarawak on Tuesday, Penangites Ivan Oh and Khaw Yee Voon won the men’s and women’s individual events on their debut. Both were competing in the Sukma individual events for the first time.
The 19-year-old Ivan, the 2015 South-East Asia Karate Championships individual champion, outperformed Terengganu’s Ernie Tye in the final.
The 21-year-old Yee Voon, a two-time Sukma women’s team event gold medallist, lifted her first individual crown after defeating Nadzirah Tuwah of Sarawak in the final.
“There is no shortcut to Penang’s success in kata. This is the reward for our long-term commitment and hard work,” said Penang kata coach Lim Lee Lee.
“There is continuity in the state squad, with the juniors able to fill in seamlessly when the seniors are overaged. For example, Ivan and Yee Voon are competing for the first time in the individual competition here, but they were already around for the 2014 team events in Perlis.”
H. Priyashankari added the icing on the cake for Penang by capturing a third karate gold medal for the state in the kumite (combat) section. The 20-year-old defended the women’s 45kg category gold medal which she won in Perlis two years ago.
The other two kumite gold medals on offer on the opening day of the karate competition was won by Selangor’s P. Tarshyent (men’s 55kg) and Malacca’s L. Davaras (men’s 67kg).
Penang have a chance to emulate their feat in Perlis by making a clean sweep of all the four kata golds on offer through the men’s and women’s team events on Wednesday.