Friday, November 11, 2011

Malaysia want to make up for losing team gold 14 years ago

JAKARTA: Malaysia’s karate team have bitter memories of their last outing in Jakarta 14 years ago.
National coach P. Arivalagan said they wanted badly to win the kumite team gold medal but fell short when they lost on countback to hosts Indonesia.

“It was the most prestigious medal in the karate competition and nations will be vying for it on the final day of the competition. It would have meant a lot for us to beat Indonesia on their home soil then. I was the skipper then. We were tied 1-1 and I won my bout for us to lead 2-1.

But our third exponent drew his bout,” he said at a training session at the team hotel yesterday.
“It was then left to our last exponent R. Muniandy, who was making his debut at the Games. Sadly, he lost to a more seasoned exponent.”

Arivalagan said this time would attempt to go for the team gold again.
“It is not easy to win the kumite team gold. We managed to beat Indonesia in the next Games in Brunei (1999) in the semi-finals but we lost out on the gold medal to Vietnam.

“This time, we lack seasoned exponents but the team spirit is high. We came close to upsetting Indonesia in the team event during the Indonesian Open in June. We almost beat them,” said Arivalagan.
Malaysia are targeting four gold medals but Arivalagan hopes his charges can deliver six.

“We have three exponents who will be defending their titles and the rest are all able to pull off surprises as well,” he said.

The three gold medal winners from the last Games are Ricky Leong (individual kumite), Jamalliah Jamaluddin (kumite 68kg) and G. Yamini (kumite 61kg).


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