KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 (Bernama) -- The National Association of Archery Malaysia (NAAM) will decide on the national squad to the SEA Games before April 1.
Its president, Mohd Yazid Yahya said the members of the squad would be picked based on their performances at the Bangkok Open, Thailand on March 16-22 and the National Archery Championship (Circuit 1) which ended today.
"The performance of the back-up archers who participated at the National Archery Championship is very encouraging. There were also young athletes, especially in the compound bow event, who were capable of equalling national athletes in action at the Bangkok Open now.
"The squad to the SEA Games will be decided based on the performances of our athletes at both championships," he told Bernama at the closing of the National Archery Championship at the Keramat Sports Complex, here, Saturday.
In addition, he said the association had also appointed Lt Commander Ibrahim Haron as the team manager for the national archery squad to the SEA Games which will be held from June 5-16.
He replaces the previous manager who has withdrawn.
A total 284 athletes from 28 teams took part in the four-day meet which is a stepping stone for young athletes to brush up on their talents in a sport which requires deep focus.
A Sarawak-born archer in the compound bow category, Lau Jiun Sien, 23,from the Nadi-USM-Elite Sports team, attracted a lot of attention after winning four gold medals, in the 50 metre overall qualifying round event, individual Olympic, team Olympic (women) and mixed team Olympic.
"I am very proud and did not expect to win many medals. I hope I will represent Malaysia at the international level one day," said the third year student in Sports Science at Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Meanwhile, the championship director, Rahimi Ahmad Sulaiman said the development programme had borne fruit because the achievements of back up athletes at the championship was very encouraging.
"I saw young athletes who were capable of reaching the final round, showing that the archery sport development programme has succeeded in producing young athletes with the potential to perform at the international stage," said Rahimi who is NAAM adviser.
Among the young athletes who created a stir at the championship were Muhd Syauqi Azmi, 15, Caroline Fread, 17, and Brian Wong, 16, from the Sabah Archers team.