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Friday February 1, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday April 17, 2013 MYT 12:01:26 AM
KUALA LUMPUR: It was just a test match but national archery chief coach Lee Jae-hyung returned home with a huge smile after the national team’s first assignment in Myanmar.
Malaysia had sent the men’s and women’s recurve teams for a test match in Naypiday, Myanmar’s capital, last month as a test run for the SEA Games. Myanmar will be hosting the biennial Games for the first time in December.
Jae-hyung, who has been coaching Malaysia for the last 11 years, gave the venue the thumbs-up sign.
“It was a good warm-up session for us. It gave us an idea of what to expect at the venue. The facilities are good but it’s a windy area,” said Jae-hyung.
“This information will help our team to be better prepared come December. We have a head start now although the Games will be held later this year. The hosts were quite good in the compound events.”
For the record, Malaysia did well at the last SEA Games in Jakarta when the archery team contributed two gold medals and one silver. The gold medals were contributed by Cheng Chu Sian, who quit the national team after the London Olympics last year.
Jae-hyung was also pleased that the trip allowed him to assess the archers “as some of them are new faces in the team”.
Those sent to Myanmar were Olympians Khairul Anuar Mohd (pic), Haziq Kamarudin and newcomers Atiq Bazil Bakri and Mohd Ikram Joni (men); and Olympian Nurul Shafiqah Hashim, Shahira Abdul Rahim, Nur Aliya Ghapar and Sunantra Su Chat (women).
“The men performed considerably well but the women showed what I already knew ... they lacked experience and it was evident from their performances. Except for Shafiqah and Shahira, the others are fresh faces,” he said.
“They need more time to be more stable in their game. “
The national team’s first real test will be the opening leg of Asian Grand Prix in Bangkok in March. Last year, Khairul did well to win a bronze medal in the men’s individual recurve despite a competitive field.
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