Winning their first-ever gold medal in an international tournament would not have come at a better time for national women’s recurve team when defeated Australia 6-2 in the final in the Archery Asia Cup 2nd-leg in Taipei, Chinese Taipei.
The Malaysian trio of Nur Aliya Ghapar, Loke Shin Hui and Nur Afisa Abdul Halil gave themselves a shot in the arm of better things to come and Malaysia’s Korean coach Lee Jae-Hyung and gives hope off qualifying for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Malaysia also picked up the silver medal in the men’s recurve through Khairul Anuar who lost 2-6 to Korean Kim Pil-Joong in the final. In the same event, the bronze also went Malaysia’s way with Muhammad Nor Hasrin registering a 7-3 win over Korea’s Kim Hyeong-Jong in the playoff.
The Malaysian trio of Khairul Anuar, Haziq Kamarudin and Akmal Nor settled for the silver in the men’s team event. Korea (Kim Hyeong-Jong, Kim Pil-Joong, and Lee Jin-Yong) took the gold with a 6-2 win over the Malaysians.
Malaysia also played bridesmaid in the mixed team event when Nur Aliya and Khairul Anuar were beaten 5-1 by the home team of Su Szu Ping-Chen Zhao Sheng in the final.
Malaysia’s long-serving coach Jae-Hyung, pleased with the pleasant surprise from the women archers said: “The women too have a chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.”
The qualification round will be held in Berlin next year.
Earlier, Malaysia had won the men’s gold in the compound through Juwaidi Mazuki, defeating compatriot K. Mohanaraja 140-139 in the final which was held in windy conditions in Taipei.
Malaysia also won the men’s team, women’s team and mixed team, along with Junaidi’s first career individual victory. This gave Malaysia the overall title with five golds, four silvers and two bronze medals. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH