Mohd Arif wins first Asiad karate gold for Malaysia in nine years


HANGZHOU: Karate exponent Mohd Arif Afifuddin Malik delivered the sixth gold for Malaysia at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Saturday (Oct 7).

The 23-year-old Asian Games debutant won the men's kumite below 84kg category after beating Daniyar Yuldashev of Kazakhstan 10-4 in the final. It ended Malaysia's nine-year karate gold drought at the Asiad.

Arif was the first Malaysian to reach a kumite final at the Asian Games since the 2014 Incheon edition.

In 2014, Syakilla Salni Jefry Krisnan won the women's below 61kg final to win gold for Malaysia.

Arif started the day by overcoming Vietnam's Do Thanh Nhan 2-0 in the last 16 bout.

The Malaysian defeated Indonesia's Sandi Firmansah 4-3 to reach the semis.

Arif then guaranteed a medal for the Malaysian contingent by beating South Korea's Baek Jun-hyeok 5-2 in the semi-finals.

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