KARACHI: Pakistan bagged 14 medals to win the inaugural South Asian Karate-do Championship that finished in New Delhi yesterday. The 14 medals included seven golds and allowed Pakistan to finish ahead of Sri Lanka who bagged six gold, four silver and seven bronze medals (Pakistan win South Asian Karate).
In the final of the men’s team kumite event, Pakistan defeated India while the women’s team prevailed over Sri Lanka to take their gold medal tally to seven and clinch the championship that featured eight countries in total.
The Asian Karate-do Championship gold medallist Saadi Abbas continued his good form and secured top position in the -67kilogramme (kg) event, defeating Sri Lanka’s Hantha Mendis in the final kumite. Abbas, who won a gold medal at the SAF Games as well, trained for the event in Australia.
“I’d been training in Australia for the past two months and I think it paid off,” Abbas told The Express Tribune. “Winning another title has boosted my confidence ahead of the World Championships that take place next year. I aimed to win this event with some new techniques and I think my experiment was successful.”
On the other hand, Baz Muhammad won the +84kg competition after defeating Afghanistan’s Fedaeem Jawad, while India bagged the bronze medal in the event. Mohammad Kashif clinched another gold for Pakistan as he won the -55-kg event after defeating Bangladesh’s Shamim Osman.
Women also made their mark in the international tournament as Umme Kulsoom defeated Dheeraj Kumari to win the -68kg event and Benish Khan beat India’s Shaba Khan in the -50kg competition.
“It is an incredible achievement by the Pakistan players,” said the Pakistan Karate Federation Secretary Shamim Hashmi. “Defeating teams from India and Sri Lanka is not easy.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2011.