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 Sports

Another milestone for Sabah karate

11th February, 2019

BY FRANCIS XAVIER

KOTA KINABALU: Two Sabah karate exponents have been roped into the national back-up squad.

The duo – Arthuric Gideon Jiwin and Amirah Syahirah Azlan – caught the eyes of the Malaysia Karate Federation (Makaf) selectors led by national Iranian head coach Ali Reza during open selection trials held at the Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex in Likas, early last month.

Both have been offered to train full-time under the National Back-Up Athletes Programme, a contract that will run until December 31.

Commenting on the duo’s selection, Sabah Karate Association (SKA) president Datuk Jake Jikulin Nointin said it was a perfect stepping stone to pursue their karate career.

“We are glad and proud with their selection, which is another milestone for Sabah is karate.

“Arthuric (19) and Amirah (17) selection also show that the development programmes that we have been doing have started to produce desirable results.

“The commitment of the association, as well as strong support from the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Sabah Sports Council, made this all possible.

“I’m happy for them and hopefully they will take this opportunity to improve and gain achievement at the international level.

“It is also my hope to see more Sabah athletes selected to represent Malaysia,” said Jake.

With the offers coming in for Arthuric from Penampang and Amirah from Keningau, who won a bronze medal in Muay Thai event at last year’s Sukma in Perak, they will be joined another Sabahan, Richal Mattan, who is training under the programme in Bukit Jalil.

As for Sabah’s national elite karateka Pressy Misty Philip, the SEA Games silver medallist is unable to train full time due to study commitment.

“We will try to arrange for her (Pressy) to join the programme during the semester break,” said SKA secretary general Julian Chin.

Julian also said that 10 other Sabah karatekas have been identified during the open selection but they will be further assessed in another round of selection.

For the record, Makaf conducted the open selection nationwide in an effort to expand the pool of national exponents in preparation for major events such as the SEA Games 2019 and in particular the Tokyo Olympics 2020 where karate has been included for the first time ever.

   
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