Fatin won’t lose sight of Olympic dream, in 2028

PETALING JAYA: Compound archer Fatin Nurfatehah Mat Salleh has been representing the country since 2009 and has no intention of retiring anytime soon.

The 29-year-old Sabahan has vowed to play on until at least 2024, where she hopes her event would be competed at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

Recurve archery is the only discipline of archery featured at the Olympics.

“It’s the pursuit of the Olympics dream that keeps me going, ” said Fatin.

“My event won’t make it for Paris 2024 but I’m willing to wait longer to find out if it could be included in 2028.

“The list of sports and events for Los Angeles should be finalised by 2024. Even if it doesn’t get the nod, I will retire with no regrets.

“The chances might be slim, but it’s still worth the wait, ” she added.

Fatin is regarded as one of the country’s most successful archers in the discipline.

Her finest achievement to date was leading Malaysia to a historic women’s team gold at the Shanghai leg of the 2015 World Cup. The other two winning members were Saritha Cham Nong and Nor Rizah Ishak.

In the same tournament, Fatin also made history by becoming the first Malaysian woman to make it to the individual semi-finals in the prestigious series.

Fatin is also a multiple SEA Games gold medallist and a regular podium finisher in continental meets such as the Asian Championships, Asia Cup series (formerly Asian Grand Prix) and World University Games.

Fatin, once ranked as high as No. 23 in the world, has shrugged off her poor outing at last December’s SEA Games in the Philippines as a sign of her decline.

She entered the biennial Games as the defending triple gold medallist but could only muster a single silver in the individual event.

“I was very frustrated with the result. It took me a few months to come to terms with it, ” she added.

“But I have come to realise that regardless of the outcome, we shouldn’t give up and keep on fighting.

“Losing and winning is part of the game. In fact, the week before the Games, I thought I did reasonably well at the Asian Championships (in Bangkok) by coming in fourth in individual and mixed team (with Juwaidi Mazuki).

“The SEA Games was a tournament to forget, but I know I will bounce back because I always do.”

The lack of competitions this year due to Covid-19 pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for Fatin, who is pursuing a PhD in Sports Science majoring in biomechanics.

“I have been using the time to focus on my studies, ” she said.

“I have just started my three-year PhD programme after completing my Masters (Sports Science with a major in psychophysiology) last year.

“So the plan now is to continue with my studies whilst staying active in archery.”

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