PETALING JAYA: Malaysia suffered one of the most demoralising World Cup campaigns this season when none of their recurve archers failed to clear the round of 64 of the individual event in Antalya, Turkey.
World No. 8 Khairul Anuar Mohamad suffered an embarrassing loss, losing to unknown Sanjay Boro of India. He lost 2-6 (28-28, 27-27, 28-29, 24-28) to an opponent yet to be listed in the world rankings.
National No. 2 Atiq Bazil Bakri was out of sort in his 2-6 (25-20, 24-26, 22-23, 24-26) defeat to 11th seed Hideki Kikuchi of Japan.
Atiq had earlier eliminated team-mate Haziq Kamaruddin in a closely-contested opening round (round of 128), winning 10-7 via a shootout after the match was tied at 5-5 (26-26, 22-26, 26-25, 26-28, 27-26).
Muhd Fareez Rosli, as expected, was no match against South Korea’s world No. 2 Lee Seung-yeun, losing 0-6 (27-28, 25-28, 26-29).
It was the same script for Malaysia in the women’s event.
None of the four – Nur Aliya Ghapar, Nur Afisa Abdul Halil, Sunantra Suchat, Farah Amalina Azhar – survived the first round.
Khairul, Atiq and Haziq will return to action today in the first round of the team event but they face a daunting task against reigning Olympic champions Italy.