PETALING JAYA: It’s one-up for women in Malaysian sports as recurve archer Syaqiera Mashayikh (pic), sprinter Azreen Nabila Alias and golfer Kelly Tan received the confirmation to pack their bags for the Tokyo Olympics.
The 21-year-old Syaqiera, still a newcomer to the sport, was over the moon after securing her slot for the Tokyo Games.
She unexpectedly got in after the world body found that some of the 64 qualified archers did not meet the minimum qualification score (MQS) of 605 points for the women’s event.
Syaqiera’s result of 619 points at the Olympic Games qualifying championships and the World Cup – both in Paris last month saw her earning the nation’s slot ahead of Nurul Azreena Mohamad Fazil and Nur Ain Ayuni Fozi.
Besides the individual event, the Segamat-born archer will also get to compete in the mixed team with Khairul Anuar Mohamed, who had already qualified for the men’s recurve event.
“I’ve never imagined that I’ll be competing in the Olympics this soon because I have not even won a medal in Sukma (Malaysia Games) and I only joined the national team last year, ” said Syaqiera.
“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity, ” said the Universiti Putra Malaysia mass communication student.
“I gave my best at the two competitions in Paris despite my lack of experience. In trainings, I have averaged 620 points.
“Maybe, I did well because there was no pressure on me.
“I know the Olympics is a big step-up, so my goal is to set a personal best and see how it goes, ” added Syaqiera, who grew up in the Felda Medoi community in Johor.
It will also be a momentous occasion for Azreen as the Terengganu lass received a wildcard slot for Tokyo Games and will be joining Lee Hup Wei.
The 21-year-old Azreen was first noticed when she broke a 10-year-old 100m record at the 2018 Sukma in Ipoh, clocking 11.81 to erase Siti Fatimah Ahmad’s old mark by 0.01.
However, Azreen did not run in the 100m at the Philippines SEA Games in 2019 but managed a bronze in the mixed 4x100m relay instead.
In golf, Kelly will also be joining Gavin Green to fly the Malaysian flag in Tokyo.
The 27-year-old, who will feature in her second Olympics after finishing 51st in Rio four years ago, secured her place as the 42nd qualifier in the top 60 Olympic Golf Rankings final list released by the International Golf Federation on Tuesday.
Malaysia now have a total of 28 athletes confirmed for the Tokyo Games.