SEPANG – After returning with three gold and two bronze medals from the 2019 East Asian Muaythai Championships in Hong Kong, the next battle ground for the national squad is the 2019 Muaythai Youth World Championships.
Malaysian Muaythai Association (MMA) president Datuk Muhammad Shahnaz Azmi said the championships in Turkey early next month would be the best platform for the national squad to realise their target of bringing back one gold medal from the SEA Games in the Philippines at the end of the year.
“In the previous edition in Kuala Lumpur, we garnered two gold medals but this time the hosts has lowered the age limit from 17 to 26 years only. However, we are confident with 2019 World Muaythai Championships silver medalist, Mohammad Rifdean Masdor to realise our mission.
“Our main challenge is that two of our athletes will be sitting for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia this year,” he said after welcoming the return of the national squad at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2).
Also present to receive the muaythai squad was Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and National Sports Council director-general, Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail.
Apart from Mohammad Rifdean who won the men’s 48kg category gold, the national squad also collected gold medals via Nur Amisha Azrilrizal (women’s 51kg) and Mohamed Mahmoud in the men’s 67kg, while the two bronze medals were delivered by Zulhelmi Rosli (men’s 51kg) and Nurul Tasha Amira Abdul Rahman (women’s 45kg).
Meanwhile, Syed Saddiq commended the commitment of the young exponents who could manage time to train and study to bring honours to the country despite having to take a major public examination soon.
He said he would be discussing with Ahmad Shapawi on giving assistance to national muaythai athletes to ensure the team continue to improve their performance.