PETALING JAYA: It was not the start they had expected as recurve archers Khairul Anuar Mohamad and Syaqiera Mashayikh missed out on qualification for the knockout stage in the mixed doubles event.
Only the top 16 nations will get to compete in the knockout stage of the mixed doubles event today and Malaysia missed out after their combined scores of 1,291 points saw them placed 19th in the event that is making its Olympics debut.
Bangladesh claimed the last available spot when they finished 16th with 1,297 points at the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field yesterday.
It was still a rewarding day for Syaqiera as she marked her Olympics debut in Tokyo with a personal best effort.
The 20-year-old, who comes from Medoi Felda settlement in Johor made her community proud as she shot 630 points to improve on her previous personal best of 619 achieved at the Tokyo 2020 final qualification tournament (FQT) in Paris last month.
She was placed 43rd in the ranking rounds of the women’s individual recurve and will take on Russian world No. 4 Elena Osipova in the first round on Tuesday.
Archers shot 72 arrows (12 series of six arrows) in the 70m distance of the ranking round.
It was a good showing for Syaqiera although she has not even won at the Sukma (Malaysia Games) level. In fact, it was only her third international outing.
“I only joined the national team one year ago and so for this Olympics, I did not set any high target for myself,” said Syaqiera.
“I was a bit nervous as this is my first Olympics but I managed to control my emotions. I hope to clear the first round after this and my adventure will be complete.”
South Korean debutant An San set a new Olympics record with a score of 680 points to break the record of 673 set by Ukraine’s Lina Herasymenko back in 1996 in the women’s individual recurve.
Jang Min-hee (677) and world record holder Kang Chae-young (675) were second and third to complete the South Korean sweep of the top three seedings.
Malaysia could have earned representation in the last 16 of the mixed doubles but Khairul, the 2019 world championships silver medallist, shot 661 points to qualify in 20th spot for the elimination rounds. It was not his best performance as he has a personal best mark of 690 points achieved last year.
Khairul will take on Finland’s Antti Vikstrom in the first round of 64 elimination on Wednesday.
South Korea’s 17-year-old Kim Je-deok, who is the youngest in the competition, pipped world No. 1 Brady Ellison of the United States to top spot in the men’s individual recurve with 688 points.
Ellison had the second highest score of 682 points ahead of two South Koreans Oh Jin-hyek (681) and Kim Woo-jin (680).