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Tuesday December 17, 2013 MYT 2:05:00 PM
Tuesday December 17, 2013 MYT 8:32:56 PM
by starsport team
The triumphant Malaysia men's recurve team of (from left) Haziq Kamaruddin, Khairul Anuar Mohd and Atiq Bazil Bakri after beating Thailand in the final on Wednesday.
NAYPYITAW: Burly Haziq Kamaruddin has been struggling to juggle archery and his studies.
The Olympian showed that his archery has not suffered when he played a big role in Malaysia’s narrow 213-212 win over a fired-up Thailand in the final at the Wunna Theikdi Archery Range on Tuesday.
Together with Khairul Anuar Mohd and Atiq Bazil Bakri, the trio hung on in the 240-arrow shoot by fending off a strong challenge from Thailand’s trio of Witthaya Tham Wong, Khomkrit Duangsuwan and Denchai Thepna.
It was the country’s second gold in archery after top archer Khairul delivered the first by beating his younger team-mate Atiq in the men’s recurve individual final just a day ago.
The women’s trio – Farah Amalina Azhar, Sunantra Suchat and Nur Aliaya – will go home empty-handed after losing 188-194 to Vietnam in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.
For Haziq, it was such a great relief to be going home with a gold medal after he had missed the cut for the individual event for scoring poorly during the qualifying round.
“This is redemption for me. I did not do well in the individual event but I am happy that I did not let my team down today,” said the Universiti Malaya sports science student.
Of the three archers, Haziq had trained the least prior to the Games because most of his classes in university clashed with his training schedule.
Khairul, meanwhile, was happy to win his second gold medal and commended his team-mates for rising to the occasion.
“We had a good start against the Thais with a four-arrow lead but they were breathing down our neck towards the end. Fortunately, all of us showed that we were mentally strong to handle the situation and went on to win,” he said.
Atiq, who was quite inconsistent yesterday, however, was happy that he nailed his first gold in his first Games.
“I am really thankful to taste success in my first Games. It has been a good start for me and I have certainly learnt a lot,” he said.
Although archery met the two-gold medal target set for the Games, national coach Lee Jae-hyung was quite reserved in his celebration.
“Our boys usually shoot above 220 in team events during training and other international competitions. To me, the score is rather disappointing because I know they can do better,” said Jae-hyung.
“Atiq’s score fluctuated but, as a first-timer, I understand that he was dealing with nerves.
“The pressure in the SEA Games is different because here, they are expected to win all the time.”
With the curtain coming down on recurve archery, Malaysia continued to show that they are indeed the best in the region.
They have won at least one gold medal in every SEA Games over the last 10 years, except for the one edition in Manila in 2005 when Mohd Marbawi Sulaiman broke his bow during the men’s recurve final.
And they have delivered a double for the third time – winning both the men’s individual and team titles at the Games in 2007, 2011 and 2013.
Tags / Keywords:
SEA Games, Naypyitaw, Myanmar, archery
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