About 70 Athletes Participate In National Karate Backup Squad Selection - Makaf

29/01/2024 10:19 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Karate Federation (MAKAF) has taken a step forward by identifying new talent who will be the mainstay to face the country's challenges at the 2025 SEA Games in Thailand and the 2027 edition in Malaysia.

A total of 68 exponents were evaluated during the national backup programme selection session last weekend at the National Sports Council (MSN) to find future champions.

MAKAF President Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad said that 26 exponents, comprising 16 Kumite (sparring) exponents and 10 Kata (pattern) exponents aged 20 and below, will be selected to be placed in the national backup squad.

"At the backup level, athletes from all states attended the selection except Kelantan. The main criteria include their agility in sparring, skills and height.

"Most likely, 30 to 40 per cent of these exponents will have the opportunity to compete in the upcoming SEA Games. However, we will send them to tournaments such as the Indonesia and Thailand Open for exposure and assessment," he told Bernama.

Nur Azmi stated that the selection of the backup squad, intended to replace senior athletes who retire, will be finalised during the upcoming MAKAF Exco meeting, and the expenses for managing the team will be covered by the National Sports Council (MSN).

The national karate squad showcased impressive performances in 2023, securing second place overall at the Cambodia SEA Games with four gold, two silver, and four bronze medals.

In the Hangzhou Asian Games, the national squad won a gold and two silvers, securing their position as the fourth-best contingent in the karate arena.