Gold in WKF tourney whets Shahmala’s appetite for Asian C’ships

PETALING JAYA: C. Shahmalarani (pic) will be well positioned to end the year with another big bang when she competes in the Asian Karate Championships in Uzbekistan next month.

The 24-year-old delivered big cheers for Malaysian karate after winning gold in the just concluded WKF (World Karate Federation) Series A tournament in Jakarta.

Shahmalarani beat Indonesia’s Nur Anggraini Annisa 5-2 in the women’s kumite below 50kg final to notch her first victory in a major competition.

She defeated Australia’s Kelly Hoare Jamie (5-0), Ukraine’s Kmit Solomiya (7-3), Taiwan’s Chung Ya-chi (4-0) and Indonesia’s Rosa Desriyana (1-0) to confirm her first ever medal on the world stage.

And she did not squander the opportunity to become only the second Malaysian exponent after Syakilla Salni Jefry Krisnan to win a WKF tournament. Syakilla was the first when she won the Paris Open women’s kumite below 55kg category back in 2018.

It has been a rewarding year for Shahmalarani as she came out tops in the Vietnam SEA Games in May and the Asean University Games in Chiangmai in July.

She also won gold at the Finnish Cup and took bronze in the World University Combat Sports in Turkey recently.

“After the SEA Games, I wanted to go for another level. I am overjoyed and there are no words to express it. I think I fought better in the final compared to earlier rounds.

“This is good for me as it’s a tournament to collect ranking points to be able to fight for Premier League events after this,” said Shahmalarani.

Nelly Evvaferra, Lovely Anne Robberth and Niathalia Sherawinnie also contributed a bronze medal for Malaysia in the women’s team kata event.

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