National karate exponent Syakilla Salni Jafry Krishnan threw in the towel to reach her ideal weight class of under 55kg after withdrawing herself from the Podium Programme.

National Sports Council director-general Ahmad Shapawi Ismail 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 a 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 Indirectly, she requested to be withdrawn from the Podium Programme.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 on Thursday.

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, had 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.