Khairul, Juwaidi within reach of gold
By advancing to the final, Khairul will be looking to claim just his second continental title after winning the Asian Championships men’s recurve gold in 2011 while looking to boost his current ranking of 48th.
Khairul finished qualifying ranked third to advance directly to the third round before posting 6-0 wins over Kazakhstan’s Oibek Saidiyev and Russian Vitalii Popov to reach the quarter-finals.
Khairul needed an element of luck to edge Indonesia’s Riau Ega Agatha, when he was on the verge of elimination, after extra arrows failed to break a 5-5 tie with the Malaysian’s shot adjudged closer to the centre to advance to the last-four.
A 7-1 win over Sultan Duzelbayev set up a meeting with Yu-Cheng who edged fellow Taiwanese Wei Chun-Heng 10-9 in the tie-break.
Haziq Kamaruddin was eliminated in his opening match 6-4 by Japan’s Yuya Izumi while the same fate befell Ikram Joni, who lost 6-2 to Saidiyev.
Akmal Nor Hasrin did a little better by reaching the third round where he lost in a tie-break to Russia’s Arsalan Baldanov.
Juwaidi finished second to Ebadi by three points in the compound qualifying with both archers then making their way through the draw to set up today’s showdown between the top two seeds.
A bronze medallist at this tournament last year, Juwaidi needed a 10-8 extra arrow decision to edge Kazakhstan’s Sergey Khristich in the last-16 before ousting Russian Alexander Dambaev 146-143 in the semifinals.
Ebadi prevented an allMalaysian final when he defeated M. Khambeswaran 145-143 in the other semi-final.
Fatin Nurfatehah Mat Salleh, a treble gold medallist at the 2015 Sea Games, was Malaysia’s best performer in the women’s individual compound by reaching the quarter-finals where she lost 147-136 to India’s Divya Dhayal.
Khairul and Juwaidi have a chance at more honours as they are both also entered for the men’s team and mixed team events of their respective disciplines. Devinder Singh
Khairul Anuar Mohamad