SYAKILLA IN­JURY HITS HARD

Na­tional ex­po­nents feel the pres­sure with­out the Asian Games gold medal­list

New Straits Times - - Sport -

RE­PORTS BY DEVINDER SINGH devinder@nst.com.my

THE ab­sence of the in­jured Syakilla Salni Je­fry Kr­ish­nan puts more pres­sure on the rest of the na­tional ex­po­nents to de­liver re­sults when the Karate1 Premier League se­ries re­sumes in Rot­ter­dam tomorrow.

Despite con­tin­u­ing treat­ment af­ter an el­bow op­er­a­tion, the Malaysian Karate Fed­er­a­tion (Makaf) have reg­is­tered Syakilla for the tour­na­ment with the ex­po­nent trav­el­ling to the Dutch city with her 12 team­mates.

How­ever, 2014 Asian Games gold medal­list Syakilla will only be train­ing and not com­pet­ing in the women’s be­low55kg with Makaf reg­is­ter­ing her in the event to en­sure she does not lose out on world rank­ing points.

“Syakilla will weigh in and then with­draw from the com­pe­ti­tion. She will not be fight­ing as she is still re­cov­er­ing from in­jury,” said Makaf sec­re­tary-gen­eral Vin­cent Chen yes­ter­day.

Vin­cent said he is keen to see if the likes of S. Shree Sharmini and S. Senthil Ku­maran can main­tain the per­for­mances they showed at the Paris meet in Jan­uary.

“I am look­ing for­ward to see if Senthil can repli­cate his per­for­mance which saw him win a sil­ver medal in Paris,” said Vin­cent. “The kata ath­letes too will be com­pet­ing for the first time this sea­son.

“Our main hope is on the men’s team (of Thom­son Hoe, Em­manuel Leong, Ivan Oh) while we also hope the women’s team go far.”

Senthil’s run to the fi­nal of the men’s be­low-60kg in Paris came despite not hav­ing com­peted in­ter­na­tion­ally since the 2014 Asian Games in In­cheon, where he won bronze, be­fore leav­ing the sport for two years.

He re­turned to train­ing in Au­gust last year be­fore be­ing ab­sorbed into the Kita Juara Sea Games pro­gramme af­ter win­ning at the Na­tional Cham­pi­onships late last year.

“To reach the fi­nal with this com­pet­i­tive per­for­mance in the face of strong ri­vals is good be­cause his di­vi­sion is rep­re­sented by 500 ath­letes,” said na­tional coach An­drijs Vasil­jevs.

“To get in the fi­nal is a good achieve­ment. But let’s take it one step at a time, he is back and needs to be con­sis­tent. Once con­sis­tency is achieved, then we can talk more.”

Oth­ers com­pet­ing in Rot­ter­dam are Lim Chee Wei (men’s in­di­vid­ual kata), R. Shar­men­dran (men’s be­low-75kg), S. Prem Ku­mar (men’s be­low-60kg), C. Shamalarani (women’s be­low-50kg) and women’s kata ex­po­nents Ce­line Lee, Thor Chee Yee and Chang Sin Yi.

Syakilla Salni Je­fry Kr­ish­nan

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