Things go off-target but Wiro will never give up

Hardworking: Wiro says that he needs more exposure and training to be better.

PETALING JAYA: The Iban war cry of Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban – fight to the last breath – has been national para archer Wiro Julin’s personal motto.

And that motto was what fired the Sarawakian up to earn a slot for Malaysia after a stunning campaign in the Asian Para Archery Championships in Bangkok last October, his first international assignment.

Wiro, a newcomer to the national para archery compound team, won the gold medal in the men’s team, silver in the men’s individual and bronze in the mixed event. It was his silver medal which earned him the berth in the 2021 Tokyo Paralympic along with recurve para world champion S. Suresh.The 25-year-old who hails from Kampung Peraya in Padawan, said he had been scheduled to train abroad in July and August to acclimatise but the Covid-19 pandemic has left the archery team’s plans in tatters.

“We were supposed to take part in two competitions but now we are not sure because of the Covid-19 situation. I only picked up this sport two years ago and worked hard to reach this stage but I know I need more exposure and training to be better, ” said Wiro, the eldest of four siblings.

“Honestly, I am a bit worried... our training is affected and our tempo is off but I need to look at the situation positively and just use this time to train.”

“My training at home has been focused on stamina and strength training. I also have been working on mental conditioning, where I visualise that I’m competing. These trainings are based on the programme given by my coach and the National Sports Institute (NSI), ” he said.

Wiro, who has a disability on his right ankle, said before becoming an athlete, he was a barber in his village in Kuching and now operates a satay and drinks stall.

“I had nerve damage on my left feet when I was seven after coming down with high fever. It affected my ankle, making the muscles softer but I keep to the motto of Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban and it brought me to the Paralympics, ” he added.

“This is just another test for me and I will just focus on being better. I see that there’s plenty that I still need to improve in terms of skill, mental and physical strength and also emotional control.”

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