MELAKA (July 23): A wave of electrifying action and sheer determination took center stage at the Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC) as the 19th Asian Senior Karate Championship and 2nd Asian Para-Karate Championship unfolded, culminating in a spectacle of extraordinary martial prowess.
In a dazzling display of skill, Kazakhstan blazed a trail of glory, rising to the coveted position of overall champions. Japan, last year’s titleholders from the championship held in Uzbekistan, put up an awe-inspiring performance but had to settle for the runner-up spot, conceding victory to the remarkable Kazakhstan team.
With an exceptional haul of three gold, four silver, and four bronze medals, Kazakhstan’s karate athletes showcased their unyielding determination, leaving spectators in awe of their excellence.
Rewinding back to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan had claimed a respectable third place, securing two gold, four silver, and two bronze medals. However, this year, their relentless pursuit of perfection propelled them to the championship’s summit.
Defending champions Japan, though valiant in their efforts, couldn’t replicate their previous triumphs, finishing as runners-up behind Kazakhstan. They clinched three gold, three silver, and two bronze medals, a testament to their unfailing dedication.
Amidst intense competition, the radiant spirit of sportsmanship united athletes from across Asia. Iran fought fiercely and emerged victorious in the battle for the third position, earning three gold, two silver, and seven bronze medals. The passionate contenders from Jordan secured fourth place with two gold, one silver, and three bronze medals, while Hong Kong took the fifth spot with two gold and one bronze.
The grand closing ceremony, officiated by the esteemed Governor of Melaka, Tun Mohd. Ali Mohd. Rustam, marked the conclusion of this breathtaking spectacle of power and finesse. Tun Mohd. Ali, who holds the distinguished positions of Patron of the Malaysian Karate Federation (MAKAF) and Executive Committee Member of the World Karate Federation (WKF), had the honor of presenting awards to the triumphant victors.
Switching gears to the exhilarating 2nd Asian Para Karate Championship, the dynamic Iranian team emerged as the undisputed champions, basking in the glory of four gold medals. Kazakhstan, a force to be reckoned with, attained the runner-up position, amassing two gold and two silver medals. A spirited Saudi Arabian team secured the third spot with one gold, two silver, and five bronze medals.
The indomitable national karate squad displayed their prowess, proudly securing the 13th position overall and claiming three illustrious bronze medals. The enchanting trio of women’s Kata captured hearts with their brilliant performance, securing the third bronze medal after triumphing over Hong Kong’s fierce squad on the championship’s climactic final day.
Lovelly Anne Robberth, Naccy Nelly Evvaferra, and Niathalia Sherawinnie formed an unstoppable alliance, garnering an impressive 42.4 points, outshining Hong Kong’s squad, who achieved 41.8 points. The triumphant trio’s victory was all the more special as it coincided with Niathalia Sherawinnie’s birthday, adding an extra touch of jubilation to their remarkable feat.
The national karate squad’s monumental achievement of three bronze medals showcased their exponential growth, catapulting them to a higher rank than the previous edition in Uzbekistan, where they secured two bronze medals and settled for the 13th position.
With 32 nations and 388 athletes in the fray, the national karate squad’s 13th position speaks volumes of their commendable dedication and unwavering spirit on the path to greatness.
Overwhelmed with pride, the national team coach, Mohd. Norfarhan Nordin, praised the women’s Kata team, emphasizing their maturity and technical finesse in the championship.
“Their extraordinary understanding of Kata’s technical aspects is a testament to their dedication and hard work. Their performance has been nothing short of awe-inspiring,” he lauded.
As the championships reached a resounding conclusion, whispers of anticipation fill the air as athletes eagerly await the possibility of representing their nation in the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. The tantalizing prospects add an extra layer of excitement, raising the stakes for the future.
The captivating journey of the 19th Asian Senior Karate Championship and 2nd Asian Para-Karate Championship has left an indelible mark on Melaka’s sporting landscape. As echoes of celebration reverberate, these extraordinary athletes serve as an inspiration for a generation of karate enthusiasts, igniting the flames of passion and dedication within their hearts.
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