Wednesday, 11 June 2014 | MYT 8:23 PM
Archers way off the mark in Turkey
The Malaysian men’s recurve team (fromt right) Atiq Bazil Bakri ,Khairul Anuar Mohamad and Haziq Kamaruddin have seen better days after finishing out of the top 16 in the third leg of the Archery World Cup. - filepic
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian men’s recurve team have been handed a tough opening draw against reigning Olympic champions Italy – no thanks to their uninspiring start – at the third leg of the Archery World Cup in Antalya, Turkey.
In the individual ranking round on Wednesday, Khairul Anuar Mohamad was Malaysia’s best performer but he could only manage 666 points to finish 19th out of 124 competitors.
His three other team-mates – Haziq Kamaruddin (652), Atiq Bazil Bakri (651) and Muhd Fareez Rosli (622) – finished 54th, 59th and 104th respectively.
The best three Malaysians’ combined total of 1,969 puts them in 12th spot out of the 32 nations in the team qualification round.
This is the first time this season that they’ve qualified for the knockout round (top 16) outside the top eight, and thus being drawn against a stronger side.
Fellow Asian Games rivals – South Korea (2045pts), Taiwan (2000), Japan (1998) and China (1994) – dominated the top-four spots.
Khairul and Co will face an Italian side comprising Mauro Nespoli, Michele Frangilli – two members of the London Olympic Games winning team – and Massimiliano Mandia on Friday.
Should the Malaysians clear the opening hurdle, they could find China waiting for them in the quarter-finals.
Before that, the archers will first see action in the individual competition on Thursday, with world No. 8 Khairul opening his campaign against Jaba Moseshvili of Georgia while Atiq and Haziq will battle it out in an all-Malaysian first-round clash.
Fareez, who made his World Cup debut this year, faces an early exit after being drawn against South Korea’s world No. 2 Lee Seung-Yeun.
The Malaysian women did not fare any better either.
Nur Aliya Ghapar, who posted 636 points, was the best ranked Malaysian in the women’s recurve ranking round – finishing 35th out of 104 archers.
She was followed by Sunantra Suchat (600pts, 88th), Nur Afisa Abdul Halil (598, 90th) and Farah Amalina Azhar (590, 95th).
Aliya, Sunantra and Afisa’s combined score of 1,834 was not enough to secure them a berth in the team knockout round.