NINH BINH CIT — Defending champions Junna Tsukii and Jamie Lim see action on Wednesday as they launch their title-retention bids in the karate competitions of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the Ninh Binh Gymnasium here.

Ms. Tsukii, the 2019 SEA Games women’s champion in the minus 50kg class of kumite (sparring), fights Vietnamese Dinh Thi Huong while Ms. Lim takes on Sirivimon Sirimounghoune of Laos in the minus 61kg class.

“We are expecting Junna and Jamie to defend their titles. We are expecting a few surprises from our kata players Rebecca and John Enrico Vasquez,” Karate Pilipinas President Richard Lim said.

Kata (form) events will start at 9 a.m. while kumite action begins after lunch.

Seven female kata players will show their skills in the individual event with Ms. Torres leading the charge, while Ms. Vasquez expects to display grace and great timing in the men’s individual kata side against six counterparts.

Jayson Macaalay faces Vietnamese Vo Van Hien in the men’s minus 60kg kumite while Matthew Manantan takes on Cambodia’s Virak Bouth Chrun in the men’s 67kg kumite class.