PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s men recurve archery team settled for a bronze medal in their first international appearance in 15 months in the first leg of the Asia Cup in Gwangju, South Korea.
The trio of Khairul Anuar Mohamed (pic), Zarif Syahiir Zolkepeli and Akmal Nor Hasrin lost to world No. 19 Japan by a single arrow in a sudden death semi-final contest yesterday.
Malaysia had tied with Japan’s Takaharu Furukawa, Yuki Kawata and Hiroki Muto on 27-all after the first 30 arrows.
Japan will face world No. 4 South Korea in the gold-medal match today.
Malaysia earned the bronze with only three teams taking part as world No. 16 Kazakhstan did not turn up for the meet, although they have initially submitted their entries.
It certainly does not augur well for coach Lee Jae-hyung’s charges ahead of next week’s all-important final qualification tournament for the Tokyo Olympics in Paris after all three archers failed to clear their opening round hurdles in the individual competition.
The 2019 world championships silver medallist Khairul was beaten 6-4 by Chakma Prodipta of Bangladesh while Zarif fell 4-6 to Robert Nam of Tajikistan in the last 16 respectively.