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Go! Go! Go Syakilla Salni

History Made in World Championship

Malaysian Karate Athlete Syakilla Salni Jefry Krisnan created history for Malaysian karate by qualifying for a World Championships final in Bremen, Germany on Thursday. It’s a proud moment for all Malaysians and definitely for Indian Malaysians. This is her second successful journey just a month winning her 1st Asian Games gold.

Syakilla will battle Egypt’s Giana Lotfy for the women’s below-61kg world title today after becoming the first Malaysian to fight her way to the final. She is fresh from her first gold medal win in Incheon, proceeded with where she left off by expelling two world championships medalists in her journey to the final.

Her feat bettered the semi-final appearances by Lim Yoke Wai and G. Yamini in 2006 while she is also guaranteed to improve on the women’s open bronze medal won by S. Premila in 2002.

Syakilla began her campaign by beating Laura Pasqua of Italy before whitewashing Ireland’s Mairi Kerin and Romanian Adriana Boga in the second and third rounds.

After a quarter-final win over Spain’s 2010 below-68kg world bronze medalist Irene Colomar Costa, Syakilla assured herself of a medal when the judges flagged 4-1 in her favour after her semi-final bout against 2012 world runner-up Boutheina Hasnaoui of Tunisia ended 0-0.

“This is the first time in history a Malaysian has entered the final of the World Championships,” said Rajah. Team manager Rajah Chetenbaram praised Syakilla’s tenacity in having just one point scored against her in five bouts. It is important for her to stay calm and focus. She has nothing to lose and we are confident to grab the gold, he said.

Malaysia could claim a second medal after the men’s team of Thomson Hoe, Emmanuel Leong and Leong Tze Wai reached the bronze medal bout, where they will face Turkey tomorrow.

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