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THE success of kyorugi and poomsae exponents in Hanoi is a good reason for the National Sports Council (NSC) to welcome taekwondo into the mainstream again.

The sport was dropped as one of the core sports at the end of 2017 and has been out of Sukma (Malaysia Games) since.

In Hanoi, 22-year-old Syafiq Zuber showed nerves of steel to outsmart three-time champion Samuel Morrison of the Philippines and comprehensively beat Vietnam’s Pham Min Bao Kha to win the solitary gold in the men’s welterweight (below 80kg).

Ahmad Nor Iman Hakim and United States-based Sebastian Tan added two more in kyorugi by winning bronze medals in the featherweight (below 68kg) and finweight (below 54kg) respectively.

In poomsae, Jason Loo secured silver in the recognised single while the women’s recognised team of Nurul Hidayah Abdul Karim, Umairah Abdul Karim and Lim Jia Wei came in third.

Except for Sebastian, who paid his own way to Hanoi, the others fought under Category A.

Taekwondo Malaysia vice-president K.M. Rajendran said their inclusion as a core sport and re-entry into Sukma will do a world of good in terms of development and unearthing future talents.

Buoyed by their creditable performance, he is hopeful they will be included in the upcoming Kuala Lumpur Sukma from Sept 29-Oct 8.

“We acknowledge NSC’s support in sending us to the Games and also funding the team’s three-week training stint in South Korea but the progress has suffered since it was dropped from the core sports list,” said Rajendran.

“We hope the NSC will consider our inclusion in Sukma this year.

“This Games is a platform to help us identify young talents for the SEA Games, Asian Games and Olympics.

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