Empowering the National Karate Squad: Four Female Athletes Set to Join Podium Program
BY: Michelle Liew
In an exciting development for Malaysian karate, the national squad is poised for a rejuvenation with the inclusion of four promising female athletes in the Podium Program next year. The move is a strategic effort by the Malaysian Karate Federation (MAKAF) to bolster the national team's strength and competitiveness on the international stage.
Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad, the president of MAKAF, expressed his optimism about the infusion of fresh talent into the national karate squad. He revealed that the four selected individuals are development athletes who have demonstrated exceptional skill and dedication, earning them a well-deserved promotion to the prestigious Podium Program managed by the National Sports Council (MSN).
Azmi Ahmad highlighted the significance of nurturing a strong development team, emphasizing the positive impact it would have on the overall competitiveness and performance of the national squad. He made these statements during the Sports Committee Meeting (JKK) held at MSN, marking a milestone in the ongoing efforts to elevate Malaysian karate to new heights.
The four female athletes set to join the Podium Program are Lovelly Anne Robberth, Niathalia Sherawinnie Yampil, Naccy Elly Evvaferra Rojin, and Zakiah Adnan. These young and promising talents have showcased their potential at the developmental level, earning them the opportunity to further hone their skills and compete at the highest echelons of karate.
However, amid the celebrations, President Azmi Ahmad shared that there are also plans to drop four names from the Podium Program. He explained that a thorough evaluation process would be undertaken before final decisions are made regarding the exclusions. Factors such as performance, injuries, and overall commitment will be considered.
Azmi Ahmad clarified that some athletes faced challenges during the confirmation period, either due to injuries or subpar performances. The decision-making process will extend until after the MMAKAF Open Karate Championship in Kuala Lumpur scheduled for February and the Southeast Asian Karate-do Championship (SEAKAF) in Thailand in April.
As the karate community eagerly awaits the outcome of the evaluation process, the inclusion of these four female athletes in the Podium Program signifies a promising era for Malaysian karate. The commitment to nurturing talent and making strategic decisions to strengthen the national squad bodes well for the sport's future in the country.
The upcoming championships in Kuala Lumpur and Thailand will serve as crucial platforms to observe the athletes' performances and determine the final composition of the Podium Program. The Malaysian Karate Federation remains dedicated to ensuring that the national squad remains competitive and continues to make strides on the global stage. The inclusion of these talented female athletes is a step toward achieving that goal and securing a bright future for Malaysian karate.