Hayashi-ha reign again
HAYASHI-HA retained the coveted men’s team kumite gold medal to emerge overall champions at the National Karate Championships in Seremban yesterday.
Under the tutelage of former national coach P. Arivalagan, Hayashi-Ha won six gold, four silver and two bronze medals to regain the overall title they last won in 2015 while relegating 2016 winners Penang (4-2-1) to second place.
But in a dramatic reverse of fortunes, Selangor failed to win a medal this year after finishing runners-up the last two years with four and three gold medals in 2016 and 2015 respectively.
Two of Selangor’s gold medallists last year, S. Senthilkumaran and R. Shamendran, did not compete as they were away at the Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku, Azerbaijan last weekend.
Hayashi-Ha improved on their third-placing last year with a 4-42 haul although there was a surprise defeat for 2011 Sea Games gold medallist Shaharudin Jamaludin.
Shaharudin’s chances of being selected for the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games in August took a hit when the defending champion lost to Hayashi-Ha teammate V. Ravin 1-0 in the men’s below67kg final.
It was Ravin’s second upset of the tournament after knocking out Shorin-Ryu’s R. Govinash, another Sea Games candidate, 65 in the semi-finals.
The other Hayashi-Ha winners were S. Prem Kumar (men’s below-55kg), S. Rubhan (men’s below-60kg), M. Sri Durghashen (women’s below-50kg) and S. Preyanclj (women’s below-61kg) while the men’s kumite team overcame Police 3-0 in the final.
All four of Penang’s gold medals came in the kata events with Emmanuel Leong and Cherlene Cheung succeeding teammates Lim Chee Wei and Celine Lee as men’s and women’s individual champions respectively.
Sabah retained the women’s kumite team gold with victory over Police in the final to add to Presty Misty Philip’s win in the women’s below-68kg event and finished third overall with a 2-2-4 haul.
Senior national exponents including Syakilla Salni Jefry Krishnan, S. Shree Sharmini, Chee Wei and Celine all missed the tournament as they are on national duty.