LATE FLURRY: Illavarasi stuns rivals in women’s kumite below-55kg as Penang grab men’s team title
SELANGOR flexed their muscles by grabbing four kumite gold medals while Penang regained the men’s team title to complete a kata sweep as the Malaysia Games karate competition came to a close at the Universiti Malaysia Pahang Sports Complex in Gambang yesterday.
State trainee M. Illavarasi provided the cherry on the cake for a Selangor team which had only targeted three gold medals with 2011 Sea Games medallist Syakilla Salni and national back-up exponents S. Senthil Kumaran and R. Sharmendran all delivering as expected.
Selangor’s four-gold haul pushed Federal Territories down to third place in the medal tally after the traditional karate heavyweights only managed to add one gold through Sea Games champion K. Teagarajan in the men’s below-75kg event to their two-gold tally on Sunday.
Penang finished tops with five gold medals on the back of the their kata dominance as they dethroned Sabah in the final to regain the men’s team gold which they unexpectedly lost in Malacca two years ago.
Selangor, however, stole the limelight as Senthil (men’s below-55kg), Sharmendran (below-67kg), Ilavarasi (below-55kg) and Syakilla (below-61kg) ensured the state doubled their 2010 gold tally.
“We had targeted three gold medals and four is a bonus,” said Selangor team coach S. Sukumaran. “We had expected the three elite and back-up exponents to deliver gold medals but I was also confident of Ilavarasi.
“We did not mention her as a gold medal prospect but she still won and it’s possible she could now be roped into the national back-up programme.
“In all, we are very happy with our achievement especially when we did not win gold on the first day which increased the pressure several fold on us,”
Teagarajan defeated Kedah’s Jeeva Selvam for FT’s third gold of the competition but his teammates Shahabudin Jamaludin and S. Prem Kumar fared less well, beaten in the finals by Selangor’s Sharmendran and Senthil respectively.
Johor’s Victoria Hu Li French won the sixth kumite final of the day when she beat Negri Sembilan’s G. Vijaya Letcumi for the women’s below-50kg gold.
RESULTS — Men’s team kata: 1 Penang, 2 Sabah, 3 Johor and Selangor.
Below-55kg: 1 S. Senthil Kumaran (Sel), 2 S. Prem Kumar (FT), 3 R. Tanaseelan (Pen) and Khaliq Seppri (Sar).
Below-67kg: 1 R. Sharmendran (Sel), 2 Shahabudin Jamaludin (FT), 3 Suffree Mohd Ali (Sar) and S. Jeevarajan (Ked).
Below-75kg: 1 K. Teagarajan (FT), 2 Jeeva Selvam (Ked), 3 M. Thavaraj (Joh) and Noor Azizan Nor Azli (Ter).
Women’s team kata: 1 Penang, 2 Sabah, 3 Johor and Sarawak.
Below-50kg: 1 Victoria Hu Li French (Joh), 2 G. Vijaya Letcumi (NS), 3 K. Vinoodinee (Pk) and Nur Hazerah Abd Malek (Sab).
Below-55kg: 1 M. Ilavarasi (Sel), 2 G. Santhini Letcumi (NS), 3 Nur Nazarith Abd Malik (Pen) and Vera Casandra Denis (Sab).
Below-61kg: 1 Syakilla Salni (Sel), 2 S. Vidya Darshini (NS), 3 Syaruniza Abdul Jamil (FT) and G. Mohana (Pah).