KUALA LUMPUR − Two simulation tournaments will be held for the national recurve archery squad as final preparations for their mission at the SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam from May 12-23.

The two domestic tournaments will be held on April 13-15 and April 20-22 at the National Sports Council (NSC) Archery Range in Bukit Jalil here.

National recurve archery coach Muhammad Marbawi Sulaiman said the tournaments − organised by the National Archery Association of Malaysia (NAAM) in collaboration with NSC − will ensure that the athletes are performing at their best before the real action begins in Hanoi.

“The main purpose is to assess their current performance and prepare the archers mentally, especially from the psychological aspect, whereby we will run a simulation tournament similar to the actual schedule set at the SEA Games in Hanoi.

“The tournament schedule will start from the qualifying round to the elimination round and follow all actual events in the SEA Games,” he said at a press conference by the Malaysian contingent here today.

He said the recurve squad led by national champion Khairul Anuar Mohamad is aiming for two golds in the games − in the men’s team and men’s individual events.

The team could also bank on senior archers Khairul Anuar and Muhammad Zarif Syahiir Zolkepeli, who will be accompanied by juniors Bryson Ting and Mohamad Firdaus Mohd Rusmadi, he added.

The recurve squad managed to win only one silver and one bronze from the men’s team and mixed team events at the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the compound archery squad are targeting gold in the men’s team and men’s individual events in Hanoi with Mohd Juwaidi Mazuki as the linchpin of the team.

National coach Adnan Ahmad said although the team just started training together earlier this month, the two simulation tournaments could prime them for action.

“We began centralised training in April but the athletes had already been training earlier in their own states,” he said.

“Based on current form, Juwaidi looks capable of achieving something,” he said at the same press conference.

Adnan listed hosts Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia as Malaysia’s main challengers for honours at the games.

Juwaidi, who is going for his fifth SEA Games, said he did not know his opponents’ actual strength as he had not competed in an international tournament for more than two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The compound archery squad comprise Juwaidi, Alang Ariff Aqil Muhammad Ghazalli, Mohamad Syafiq Md Ariffin and Wong Co Wan for the men’s category and Fatin Nurfatehah Mat Salleh, Iman Aisyah Norazam, Nur Aina Yasmine Halim and Kayalvhily for the women’s category.

In the 2019 SEA Games, Juwaidi was part of the squad that won gold in the men’s team event while Fatin clinched silver in the women’s individual event. – Bernama, April 7, 2022