AFTER the relative disappointment of landing one silver and one bronze on the opening day of competition, Malaysia’s archers delivered double gold on Thursday.
The Malaysian flag was flying for both the men’s and women’s compound teams, as the women defeated Vietnam 28-27 in a tense shoot-off, while the men beat Singapore 228-222.
The women’s trio of individual compound bronze medallist Fatin Nurfatehah Mat Salleh, plus Nurul Syazhera Asim and Saritha Cham Nong, required a shoot-off after their final ended 225-225.
Vietnam’s trio of Chau Kieu Oanh, Nguyen Thi Nhat Le and Le Ngoc Huyen came agonisingly close to landing their country’s first gold medal of the Games.
But they had to settle for silver, as Chau had done in the individual compound 24 hours earlier.
For Malaysia’s Fatin, though, who had been expected to win gold in the individual but ended up taking silver, victory – particularly in such a tense finale – must have tasted very sweet.
— TEAM MAS (@AtletMalaysia) August 17, 2017
She and Nurul Syazhera shot four 10s in a row, but when team-mate Saritha only mustered an eight, it forced a sudden-death shoot-off.
Fatin and Nurul Syazhera each hit nines in the shoot-off, before Saritha rediscovered her perfect aim, hitting a 10 to claim Malaysia’s first archery gold of the Games.
“It was not an easy win,” said Fatin. “During the shoot-off, I told my team-mates to just go out there and have fun. Don’t let the pressure get into us and I am really thankful for the results.”
This year’s host nation, Malaysia won five golds in archery on Singaporean soil last time, and their first one at this Games was quickly followed by a second.
Inspired by the women’s success, the men’s trio of Mohd Juwaidi Mazuki, Zulfadhli Ruslan and Lee Kin Lip were in control throughout their final, never trailing Singapore before sealing a 228-222 win.
Mohd Juwaidi, who failed to capitalise on an early three-point lead and eventually lost 144-145 to Indonesian Prima Wisnu Wardhana in the final of the individual competition, was delighted to get a gold medal around his neck.
“I dedicate this gold medal to all Malaysians, particularly to my family and wife who are unable to come down,” he said.
With four of the 10 gold medals in the archery at Synthetic Turf Field in Bukit Jalil decided, Malaysia and Indonesia have two apiece, with Vietnam having two silver medals and Philippines two bronzes.
Archery medal table after two days of competition: Malaysia – 2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze; Indonesia – 2 gold, 1 bronze; Vietnam – 2 silver; Singapore – 1 silver; Philippines – 2 bronze.