KARATE exponent Zakiah Adnan has pinned messages of her Asian Games goal in various places to remind herself to stay focused in Hangzhou.
She does not wanting anything to distract her from making her presence count in her first Asiad.
Yesterday, the new kid on the block arrived in Hangzhou with the others in the national karate team, determined to make a name for herself.
The 20-year-old kumite exponent was a last minute pick as her selection came only after winning a bronze in the women’s below 61kg category at the Asian Championships in Nilai in July.
Zakiah was the only female fighter to make the podium at the Asian meet, which is seen as a precursor to the Asian Games competition.
Zakiah was initially not considered for Asiad after only reaching the quarter-finals in the women’s below 68kg category at the Cambodia SEA Games in May.
Karate coach Tamer Mourssy switched Zakiah to compete in the lower weight category at the Asian championships and she is now looking to build on the success.
“Winning the bronze medal at the Asian championships has given me the confidence to aim high in Hangzhou,” she said.
“It’s going to be my first Asiad and I’m still seen as lacking in experience but I dare to dream.
“I have visualised on what I hope to achieve. I wrote down my medal target on the wall in our training gym, on the wall in my study table and beside my bed.
“It’s to remind me not to slack and be on the right track to achieve what I want.
“My level is close to the Asian standards but I only lack the experience,” said Zakiah, who only picked up karate four years ago.
She has picked Atousa Golshadnezhad from Iran, Nguyen Thi Ngoan from Vietnam and fighters from United Arab Emirates and Japan as the main challengers.
“Iran won at the Asian championships while Vietnam won at the SEA Games.”
The karate team for the Hangzhou Asiad comprise four male and seven female exponents.
The two other women kumite exponents are C. Shahmalarani and P. Madhuri. The male are Prem Kumar, Mohd Arif Afifuddin, H. Sureeya Sankar, S. Prem Kumar and captain R. Shamendran.
Malaysia will only be represented in the women’s kata by Lovely Anne Robberth, Nancy Nelly Evvaferra and Niathalia Sherawinnie Yampil.
At the last Asiad in Indonesia, Malaysia only secured one bronze through Prem Kumar in the men’s below 60kg category.