As published in Mailsport today
By Wan Noriza Meor Idris
THE National Archery Association of Malaysia (NAAM) is determined to go for gold at next month’s Singapore SEA Games.
Its president, Mohamad Yazid Yahya, said he was optimistic the squad can shoot down three gold medals, as the women’s compound team had won its first ever gold medal at the Archery World Cup in Shanghai, China earlier this month.
“Their confidence is at its peak and we’re aiming for two (gold medals) in compound and one in recurve,” Yahya said, adding a fourth would be a bonus.
The compound team comprising Fatin Mat Salleh, Nor Rizah Ishak and Saritha Cham Nong emerged victorious after defeating world No. 1 USA on May 9.
Their win came as a surprise as it was only their second appearance in the competition, their first being five years ago.
“We won silver in Laos (2009) and Jakarta (2011) so we’re hungry for our first SEA Games gold,” said Fatin.
“However, we don’t want to be overconfident and lose focus. We are working hard to be in the best possible condition when we leave for Singapore.”
National coach Lee Jae-hyung believes the recurve archers can also make an impact at the biennial Games and has challenged them to prove their capabilities by beating the region’s best archers.
The men’s recurve team performed dismally at the Shanghai World Cup, with individual archers seeing an early exit during the qualifying rounds while the recurve team was knocked out by the United States during the elimination round.
The recurve athletes should improve their performance as they are experienced archers, said Lee, who sees Indonesia and Vietnam as serious contenders.
In the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games, the national archery team clinched two gold medals (recurve), three silver medals (recurve and compound) and two bronze medals (compound).