by Tere Alex – EM TV Sport
She’s only 15 but already has a title.
Crystal Mari is the PNG open women’s division champion in Karate, kata category.
She’s a promising athlete with medal prospects for the PNG Games and the 2015 Pacific Games. Who would have thought that Karate Kids would be a lifelong influence? Crystal Mari is exactly that, having started out from in front of her television.
She’s an eager learner and was quick to pick up the basics when she made her debut in karate in 2011.
Crystal Mari is a well-disciplined, young athlete with an ambition to master her craft. Her father, Carl Mari, was a representative and is now president of the PNG Karate-do Federation.
She has taken part in various overseas meets, including the Oceania Championships in Fiji where she settled for a bronze medal in Cadet Female 54kg Kumite, while narrowly missing out on a bronze in the Junior Female Kumite 53kg
In the other divisions, Crystal narrowly missed out on a bronze in Junior Female Kumite (53kg) and also made the quarter finals in the Junior Female Kata division in the Open Karate-do Federation Championships, held in Thailand in July.
Adding to her medal collection was her recent gold-winning performances in the 2014 PNG Open Karate Titles. She took gold in female Cadet Kata, open female Kata and in the 15-year female Kumite.
Crystal Mari is sure to be a strong rival in the PNG Games, as well as the 2015 Pacific Games which is not far from her mind.