Karateka Arif to battle for gold in Hangzhou

KUALA LUMPUR: Karateka Arif Afifuddin Malik will battle for the Asian Games men's kumite 84kg crown in Hangzhou today.

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

The Malaysian then defeated Indonesia's Sandi Firmansah 4-3 in a tight quarter-final battle.

Arif, who won the kumite team title at the Phnom Penh Sea Games in May, was unstoppable in the semi-finals against South Korea's Baek Junhyeok, winning 5-2.

He will face Kazakhstan's Daniyar Yuldashev, who won bronze five years ago in Indonesia, in the gold-medal bout later today.

Arif is 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 Under-61kg final to win gold.

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