INCHEON: Syakilla Salni Jefry Krisnan crowned her Asian Games debut with a gold medal after a dominating display in the women’s kumite below-61kg final today.
The 22-year-old exponent from Klang stopped the clock with 30 seconds remaining after the mercy rule was enforced once Syakilla reached an eight-point lead against Barno Mirzaeva of Uzbekistan.
Syakilla’s 10-2 win was the perfect way to mount the top step of the podium in what is the biggest win of her fledgling karate career.
“I am so happy, I can’t tell you how happy I am,” said Syakilla, who also won gold at the 2013 Sea Games, in between sobs at the Gyeyang Gymnasium in Incheon.
“This is the best result of my career. I want to thank my coach (Andris Vasiljev), the national karate association, National Sports Council, National Sports Institute, my family and friends for all the support they have given to me.”
Syakilla became only the second Malaysian female karate exponent, after S. Premila in 2002, to win Asian Games gold.
Karate has now surpassed badminton and moved level with athletics in having contributed eight gold medals for Malaysia in Asian Games history.
Earlier, S. Senthil Kumaran won bronze in the men’s kumite below-55kg category, the event in which R. Puvaneswaran won gold for a second time in 2010.
Senthil won a judges’ decision after his bronze medal bout with Indonesia’s Suryadi ended 4-4.
Later today, A. Nisha and S. Shree Sharmini take to the floor in the women’s below-55kg and below-68kg respectively.-NST