Top karate fighter may be dropped over weight issues

PETALING JAYA: Top Malaysian karate exponent Syakilla Salni Jefry Krisnan may face the sack from the Indonesia Asian Games squad. 

Syakilla, who will be the Malaysian flagbearer for the Asian Games from Aug 17 to Sept 2, is having issues with her weight.

The 26-year-old, who was formerly ranked No. 1 in the world rankings before, competes in the women's kumite below 55kg category.

She was the gold medallist at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games last year and the winner in the below 61kg category at the last Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea four years ago.

Malaysia Karate Federation (Makaf) secretary general Vincent Chen revealed Syakilla has been struggling to keep her weight below the 55kg limit in her category.

Makaf's patience ran thin after Syakilla failed to stay under the weight limit at the Asian Karate Championships in Amman, Jordan last week.

"You are one of the elite athletes under the Podium Programme and if you can't even make your weight, how are you going to contend at the Asian Games.

"This is not the first time she failed to make fight. This is the second time in six months this happened and I don't want a situation where we send her and she can't even start at the Asian Games," said Vincent, adding that a meeting will be held on Thursday (July 19) between Makaf, National Sports Institute and National Sports Council to decide on her fate. 

"This is a serious discipline problem and she has to go if she cannot give us a strong commitment to change her ways."

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