PETALING JAYA: There is a lot at stake for Malaysian exponents in the World Karate Championships starting in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, tomorrow.
It will be the first competition after a long while for the exponents and how they perform at the world meet will likely determine their chances of getting selected for next year’s Vietnam SEA Games and Hangzhou Asian Games.
Malaysia will be banking on kumite exponents – Prem Kumar 60kg), A. Somanroy (84kg), Mohd Arif Afifuddin (67kg) in men; and M. Mathivani (61kg) and P. Madhuri (55kg) in the women – to do the country proud in Dubai.
Karate coach R. Puvaneswaran is hoping for his fighters to make use of the limited opportunities to impress in the desert city.
“We could not go for any international competitions although Europe was already hosting events for the last few months because of border restrictions,” said Puvaneswaran.
“We did not stop our training and athletes are just raring to strut their stuff. They need to perform to secure their places in the SEA Games and Asian Games next year.
“These two events will be our main focus next year, so our exponents need to show they are capable of carrying the mission to win medals.
“I want them to go as many rounds as possible.
“Except for Prem and Madhuri, it will be the first competition in more than two years for the others and thus we do not have any medal target.
“But we still need to evaluate them through the world meet and also the Asian championships after this,” he added.
2019 Philippines SEA Games gold medallists Prem and Madhuri took part in the Olympic qualifiers in Paris in June where they managed to reach the fourth round in their respective categories.