Wagga junior impresses world champ

THERE is no stopping Wagga junior karate sensation Hana Sawal.

The incredibly gifted junior athlete has added another impressive achievement to her sporting resume, after returning victorious from the prestigious New South Wales State Karate Championships.

The championships, which attract the best athletes from metropolitan and regional centres, were held in Sydney on March 31.

Competing in the highly-competitive under 10 years girls kata division, nine year old Hana blew the competition away to secure a gold medal – and the honour of the state champion title.

Thrilled coach Sawal Salleh revealed Hana’s prodigious skill had attracted the praise of current karate world champion Kristina Mah. “Hana won in the finals, to be crowned the NSW State champion,” Sawal said.

“Hana performed an advance kata in the finals – which is known as Paiku – and, after the event, the current Karate World Champion Kristina Mah came up and

commented that the kata was executed so well for her age that ‘it sent chills down her spine’ while she was watching it being performed.”

Hana has been selected to represent NSW at the National Championships in August. To prepare for the hotly-contested competition, Hana will compete in a number of tough international and national events.

Next week Hana, and 12 other competitors from the Shinwa-Kai Karate Club, will fly to Singapore to compete in an international karate competition which attracts competitors from Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

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