KUALA LUMPUR: Ahead of participation in several international competitions, the national karate squad have been dealt a huge blow following injuries suffered by two of their senior exponents.
National karate coach Ali Reza Souleymani said 2019 SEA Games silver medallist Mohd Arif Abdul Malik and Asian Karate Federation (AKF) Under-21 Championships gold medallist, A. Somanroy, sustained knee and shoulder injuries respectively, which have ruled them out of competitions for about seven months.
“At the moment, I can’t assemble a full squad as only three senior athletes and the junior squad are available for training. The rest, mostly the senior athletes, are down with injuries, ” said Ali.
“I must find suitable junior athletes to represent the country in upcoming tournaments.”
While there are several competitions lined up, Ali revealed the number has not been confirmed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Among the competitions that the national squad are supposed to be heading to are the South East Asia Karate Federation Championship in the Philippines from April 3-5 and 17th AKF Senior Championship in Bali, Indonesia, from Sept 4-6.
“My plan was to bring the national squad for international training and competitions in Iran in the next couple of months, but due to mounting concerns over Covid-19, I can’t give an assurance we will proceed with our initial plans either, ” said the Iranian.
Last year was a great year for the national karate squad after they emerged overall champions at the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines, raking in four gold and four silver medals while also achieving positive results in a few international competitions. —Bernama
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