KARATE: The golden girls

SWEET REVENGE: Quartet gain revenge over Indonesia, men settle for silver behind Thailand

NATIONAL karate exponents made up for the disappointment of losing to Indonesia two years ago when they beat them 2-0 in the Sea Games women's team kumite final at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium in Naypyitaw yesterday.

The team, comprising Syakila Salni, A. Nisha, S. Shree Sharmini and Nur Eleena Anis Ab Malik, had earlier beaten Vietnam 1-0 in the last four after having received a bye in the quarter-finals.

Syakila said the team were very confident of a victory going into the final against Indonesia (Rani Srunita, Nova Nuradiyanti, Mogia Angkat).

"It is a great feeling to get another gold for the country. We would like to dedicate this win to all our coaches and supporters," said the 21-year-old, who also won gold in the below-61kg on Saturday.

"This is an extra special moment for us as we had lost to them (Indonesia) in the final two years ago.

"We knew we could win if we went all out against them and thankfully all went to plan."

The win sees the national karate exponents end their Sea Games campaign with an impressive seven gold medals.

The men's kumite team comprising T. Govindasamy, Shaharudin Jamaludin, Sharrma Jayamaran, R. Sharmendran and Mohd Hatta Mahamut, could have made it eight but were forced to settle for silver after they lost 3-1 to an inspired Thailand (Supa Neanpuengphit, Theerapat Kangtong, Songvut Muntaen, Pholwasin Sawangkul) in the final.

Coach S. Mahendran said a number of mistakes made by the exponents had cost the team another gold.

"They (exponents) tried but it was just not their day," said Mahendran.

"We went into the match with a lot of confidence as we have not lost to Thailand in the team event in a long time.

"We only have ourselves to blame as the strategy we employed was alright but we could not execute well enough."

The national team, who had beaten defending champions Indonesia 3-2 in the semi-finals earlier in the day, took bronze in the event at the last edition of the Games in Indonesia two years ago.

***Sumber Dari New Straits Times


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