Makaf banking on locals for 2022 Asiad assault

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Karate Federation (Makaf) have put their faith in the locals to take charge of the national team for the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Iranian coach Ali Reza Souleymani’s contract ended last year and Makaf are now looking at locals to handle the exponents.

For a start, their deputy president Datuk Vincent Chen has offered two-time Asian Games gold medallist R. Puvaneswaran a coaching role.

His appointment will be subject to confirmation when the National Sports Council hold the joint-working committee meeting with Makaf in the coming weeks.

“We already have former national exponents who have gone on to become coaches overseas.

“Puvaneswaran is a good example. He did a good job with the Thailand national team for the last few years and we will give him the chance to serve the country.

“The proposal is to try out the locals for two years and then judge them from the results, ” he said.

Lim Yoke Wai coached China’s national team for five years after retiring following his bronze medal feat at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha while former Asian kata champion Ricky Leong is with the Macau national side.

Puvaneswaran handled the national juniors for three years until 2015 before leaving for Thailand. He returned home last year after his last assignment with the Thai team at the Philippines SEA Games.

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