COMPOUND archery should not be overlooked anymore.
Not when Mohd Juwaidi Mazuki, Lee Kin Lip and Alang Ariff Aqil Muhd Ghazalli delivered the only archery medal for Malaysia by finishing third in the men’s team at the GBK Archery Field yesterday.
Juwaidi and teammates overcame world No. 9 Taiwan 225-223 in the playoff for third place.
Despite being three points in front (168-165) after the third end (of 18 arrows), Malaysia were forced to withstand a late assault by rivals Lin Hsin-min, Lin Che-wei and Pan Yu-ping.
The Taiwanese combined to fire a perfect 30 for their next three arrows to reduce Malaysia’s commanding lead to just one point (196-195).
But Juwaidi, Kin Lip and Alang showed nerves of steel to close with 10, 10, and 9 respectively to beat the Taiwanese by two points.
Juwaidi hoped the medal would sent a strong message to Malaysian sports officials.
“This is our first medal since compound was included in Asian Games in 2014 in Incheon. This is also Malaysia’s only (archery) medal in Asiad this time,” said Juwaidi.
“I hope the officials take notice of what the compound team are capable of. I’m not saying they’ve not done anything but it can be better.”
Kin Lip said they received minimal support although they have proven themselves by winning gold medals at SEA Games and claimed podium finishes in the annual Asia Cup series on regular basis.
They were only sent for two tournaments before the Asian Games. And their coach Adnan Ahmad was only hired a month before the Jakarta trip.
“We won a bronze despite training on our own,” said Kin Lip.
“We didn’t even have a full-time coach. If only we had a long-term programme, a full-time coach and more tournament exposures, we can achieve better results.”
Compound archery had played second fiddle to their recurve counterparts because it is not an Olympic Games discipline but there is an active bid by World Archery to get it into the Olympics.
For the youngest member Alang, the Asiad debut had been memorable.
He earned his place in the three-man team after performing better than senior Zulfadhli Ruslan in the ranking rounds.
“I didn’t expect to make the team, let alone win this bronze today. It’s an achievement for me,” said Alang.