In the realm of karate, the name Sharmendran Raghonathan resonates as a beacon of excellence, and with his recent announcement of retirement via social media, the karate world bids farewell to a true gem.

As a four-time Sea Games champion, Sharmendran's legacy is etched in the annals of Malaysian sports history, and while his retirement comes as a surprise, the collective wish is for his continued well-being.

The decision to retire stems from Sharmendran's unwavering commitment to prioritize his health, a journey marked by six surgeries over nine years, including a recent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery on his left knee. In expressing gratitude for 12 years of unwavering support from his fans and the nation, Sharmendran acknowledges the importance of health and looks forward to the future with optimism.

In light with his retirement announcement, let’s take a look at his journey of becoming a successful karateka…

The 31-year-old karateka clinched his first Sea Games title in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur edition, followed by triumphant victories in 2019 (Manila) and 2022 (Hanoi). Beyond the medals, Sharmendran's journey from a young boy intrigued by a karate class in a night market to a national champion exemplifies his passion towards his love for Karate.

His early years in karate were marred by setbacks and losses, testing his resolve but fortifying his determination to taste victory. The allure of becoming a champion fueled his perseverance through challenges, paving the way for his remarkable success in the sport.

As the flag bearer and gold medalist, Sharmendran's memorable moments have not only elevated him in the eyes of the nation but also solidified his place as a symbol of pride for Malaysia. Representing the country on the international stage has been a privilege he cherishes, contributing significantly to Malaysia's prominence in the world of combat sports.

Sharmendran's contributions to putting Malaysia on the map in karate are immeasurable, and his legacy will be remembered and cherished. Regardless of the path ahead, the nation extends its heartfelt gratitude and wishes him the very best in his future endeavours.

Thank you, Sharmendran, for your dedication, achievements, and the pride you've instilled in Malaysians through your illustrious karate career.

Source / Image Credit : ASTRO Arena , AugustMan, The Malaysian Reserve