HANOI, May 19 — Two debutants made sure Malaysia began Day One of the 31st SEA Games karate competition with a two-gold haul in the kumite event at the Ninh Binh Province Sports Gymnasium, about 100 kilometres (km) from here, yesterday.
C Shahmalarani chopped down Malaysia’s first gold when she defeated Thailand’s Chanyanut Chippensuk in the women’s below 55-kilogramme (kg) final.
The 24-year-old Malaysian won after her Thai opponent broke her hand and could not continue.
Shahmalarani had earlier disposed of Indonesia’s Ririhena Sharon Verlina 9-1 in the second round and Laos’ Laoyang Kengthong 8-0 in round three.
The Malaysian acknowledged that her victory was the result of the hard work she had put in over the past few years in preparation for the biennial Games here.
“It’s always been my dream to contribute the gold medal for Malaysia at the SEA Games. This is like a dream come true,” she said as she also thanked all Malaysians for their support and encouragement.
H. Sureeya Sankar then dazzled to bag Malaysia’s second gold when he defeated Indonesia’s Hutapea Tebing 5-3 in the men’s below 67kg final.
Sureeya began his Hanoi SEA Games campaign with a 3-1 win over Vietnam’s Dang Hong Son before trouncing Filipino Manantan John Matthew Coronel 8-0 to storm into the final.
Meanwhile, S. Prem Kumar, who won gold in the men’s kumite below 55kg category in the 2019 edition in the Philippines, could only manage a bronze this time together with Filipino Jayson Ramil Macaalay Ordonez in the below 60kg event.
Prem Kumar lost to eventual gold medallist Adi Saputra in the semi-finals while Vietnam’s Van Hien Vo picked up the silver medal.
The national karate squad also picked up another bronze through Muhammad Aiqal Asmadie in the men’s individual kata event, with Indonesian Ahmad Zigi Zaresta Yuda taking gold, and Vietnam’s Pham Minh Duc settling for silver.