PETALING JAYA: National para archer S. Suresh (pic) showed he is no pushover against his able-bodied counterparts when he finished top eighth in a two-day national team simulation meet.
The 26-year-old reigning world champion made it until the quarter-finals before losing 0-6 to national No. 2 Haziq Kamaruddin. Haziq went on to lose to Olympian Khairul Anuar Mohd 6-0 in the final on Sunday.
Reaching the quarter-finals is still a respectable achievement for Suresh as he managed to come in seventh best in the ranking round before going on to whip back-up member Hariez Iskandar 6-0 in the first elimination stage.
Suresh was pleased with the result considering it was his first competitive action since he last took part at the Para Archery World Ranking Tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in February.
“I wasn’t too happy with the 614 (out of possible 720) that I shot in the ranking round. It’s a far cry from my personal best of 651, ” said the Tokyo Paralympics-bound Suresh.
“I’ve just came back from Deepavali celebration and had barely trained prior to the competition. So, it’s still not too bad.
“I also took few breaks in between including for my wedding in August. So I’ve probably lost around one month of solid training.
“I’m pretty confident that if I’m back at my best, I can even give Haziq a good fight.”
Suresh had previously put some of his able-bodied rivals to shame by finishing fourth at the National Archery Championships in July last year.
Although the top four elite archers Khairul, Haziq, Akmal Nor Hasrin and Zarif Syahiir Zolkepeli were absent in the national meet, it was still a good showing as Suresh upstaged some of the national back-up members.
Suresh became the first Malaysian to win the recurve gold at the World Archery Para Championships in Hertogenbosch, Holland, last year to book his Olympics ticket.
Ranking round: 1. Khairul Anuar Mohd 683; 2. Haziq Kamaruddin 662,3. Zarif Syahiir Zolkepeli 659,4. Akmal Nor Hasrin 646,5. Bryson Ting 646,6. Haikal Danish 634,7. S. Suresh 614,8. Fitri Yusof 609,9. Norhairulnizam Rosdi 605,10. Hariez Iskandar 594,11. Izzul Haqim 590,12. Hasihin Sanawi 589.
First round: Norhairulnizam Rosdi bt Fitri Yusof 6-4; Bryson Ting bt Hasihin Sanawi 6-0; Haiqal Danish bt Izzul Haqim 6-0; S. Suresh bt Hariez Iskandar 6-0
Quarter-finals: Khairul Anuar Mohd bt Norhairulnizam Rosdi 6-0; Akmal Nor Hasrin bt Bryson Ting 7-1; Haziq Kamaruddin bt S. Suresh 6-0; Zarif Syahiir Zolkepeli bt Haiqal Danish 6-0.
Semi-finals: Khairul Anuar Mohd bt Akmal Nor Hasrin 6-0; Haziq Kamaruddin bt Zarif Syahiir Zolkepeli 6-2.
Third-place playoff: Zarif Syahiir Zolkepeli bt Akmal Nor Hasrin 6-0.
Final: Khairul Anuar Mohd bt Haziq Kamaruddin 6-0.
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