SINGAPORE: Malaysia got off to a roaring start on the opening day of the archery competition.
The compound archers were impressive as they topped the ranking round of all five events contested at the Kallang Cricket Field on Wednesday.
Fatin Nurfatehah Mat Salleh, the bronze medallist at the World Cup opening stage in Shanghai last month, claimed top seeding for the women's individual elimination stage after shooting a solid 682 score for the 72-arrow contest.
She also led her World Cup gold medal-winning team-mates - Saritha Cham Nong (third, 679) and Nor Rizah Ishak (fourth, 678) - to first seed in the team event with their 2,039 total.
Their counterparts in the men’s event were equally good with Mohd Juwaidi Mazuki leading the way.
Juwaidi posted 697 to narrowly finish ahead of defending champion Nguyen Tien Cuong of Vietnam and two-time silver medallist Earl Benjamin Yeap of the Philippines, who both shot 696. Nguyen is ahead of Earl because of number of shots on target.
Ruslan Zulfadhli finished fourth with 692, followed by Lee Kin Lip who shot 683.
Malaysia’s three-man combined score of 2,072 was good enough to put them in top spot for the men's team standings. The Philippines (2,065) and Indonesia (2,055) took the second and third spots.
Juwaidi and Nurfatehah’s combined scores - 1,379 - also got them to the top of the mixed team scoresheet. They go into the knockout rounds as early favourites.
National compound coach Adnan Ahmad was proud of his charges, but cautioned that the knockout rounds are more important.
In the men’s recurve team contest, defending champions Malaysia, led by Khairul Anuar Mohamad, have been handed a bye to the semi-finals as a reward for topping Wednesday’s ranking round.
Khairul (second, 662), Haziq Kamaruddin (sixth, 640) and Muhd Ikram Joni (eighth, 637) posted a combined 1,939 total to pip archrivals Indonesia (1,933) and Thailand (1,917) for the top seeding.
The Star Online