PHNOM PENH, May 6 — Keeping cool with determination to win Malaysia’s first gold in the 2023 SEA Games here proves to be the right formula for reigning champion C. Shahmalarani, o shine in the women’s kumite under 50kg.
Above that, she said the victory was a sort of redemption after losing 1 – 5 to Junna Tsukii, in the final bout at the Southeast Asian Karate Federation Championships (SEAKF) in Phnom Penh in March.
“I did not start my match very well but my coach Tamel Abdelraof felt the Filipino was not fully ready yet and asked to enter some loops and ultimately drew level 1 – 1, and that helped to calm my nerves.
“After the 1 – 1 score, I was very confident of winning the bout as I was controlling the match from then on,” she told reporters after the gold medal match, earlier today.
Shahmalarani was declared the champion and succeeded in defending her gold medal as she was more aggressive than the Filipino-Japanese exponent throughout the bout held in Chroy Changvar Convention Centre.
Meanwhile, S. Prem Kumar, who won Malaysia’s second gold a few minutes later, in the men’s kumite under 55 kg, did not want to get carried away by today’s achievement.
He said his mission is far from over as he wanted to focus on the team event here and the 2022 Asian Games, to be held in Hangzhou, China, in September.
“I was relieved that I managed to score two important points as I kept attacking my opponent a few seconds before the bout ended after trailing 1 – 3. All of my hard work had finally paid off,” Prem Kumarsaid.
Despite sharing the final result 3 – 3 with Thailand’s Chanphet Setthaphong, he was awarded the gold medal after he scored the first point in the thrilling final battle.