National karate-do athlete Syakilla withdraws from Podium Programme

Syakilla, previously ranked number one in the world in the under 55kg weight class, has been struggling with weight problems recently. — Reuters pic
Syakilla, previously ranked number one in the world in the under 55kg weight class, has been struggling with weight problems recently. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 — National karate-do athlete Syakilla Salni Jefry Krishnan has finally thrown in the towel to reach her ideal weight-class of under 55kg, after withdrawing herself from the Podium Programme.

MSN director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail today confirmed a resignation letter was received via email from the former world number one.

According to Ahmad Shapawi, the 27-year-old did not report to training after returning from the K1 tournament in Japan, where she failed to compete due to her weight being above 55kg.

“We were trying to hold discussions over the matter, because the alternative plan for Syakilla, if she failed to qualify for the Olympics, was to compete in the SEA Games in the above 61kg category.

“However, unfortunately, she sent a letter to resign from the national team. Indirectly, she requested to be withdrawn from the Podium Programme. She just sent us an email without giving any reason,” he told reporters after the Olympic Council of Malaysia’s (OCM) SEA Games selection committee meeting at Wisma OCM here today.

Ahmad Shapawi said Syakilla’s withdrawal meant she would not be included in the national contingent for the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines, and would be replaced by Audrey Jaypus in the 61kg category.

Syakilla, previously ranked number one in the world in the under 55kg weight class, has been struggling with weight problems, which caused her to miss a number of international tournaments deemed vital to earn qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In August, Syakilla was reported to have got back to her ideal weight after undergoing intensive training in Phuket, Thailand, reviving her chances to make it to the Olympics. — Bernama

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