Sunday, July 21

Accidental archer set for world-class competition

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Syahrizan Jafar

SIBU: National archer Syahrizan Jafar is itching for action in the 2nd leg of the 2019 Hyundai Outdoor Archery World Cup to be held in Shanghai on May 4.

The 40-year-old from Bintulu has risen to become the country’s No. 2 compound bow archer since the National Archery Association of Malaysia (NAAM) roped him into the national squad last December.

Syahrizan’s involvement in archery only started in 2014 when he was spotted by Ahmad Ishak Hassan, development officer of Assyakirin Traditional and Modern Archery (ATMA) Club of Bintulu.

The maintenance contractor just happened to be a spectator at the ATMA range watching the archers doing their practice. He turned down Ishak’s invitation to give it a try.

But his curiosity led him to eventually try out the compound bow in October 2016 after constant coaxing from Ishak.

After practising for a week he joined a local competition and came in second.

The upcoming Shanghai assignment will be Syahrizan’s second representing the country.

Popularly known as ‘Along’, he made his international debut at the Outdoor Archery Asia Cup Stage 1 in Bangkok last March.

He finished ninth in the individual category and fourth in the team and mix events.

That was then. The father of 10 children is now bracing himself for a tough going in Shanghai.

“This time round, it’s a different battle altogether as the participants are world class. I will be venturing into unchartered territory and will try my best to come back with something to showcase,” he told The Borneo Post.

NAAM will be sending eight top players, four men and four women, for the world ranking event.

Malaysia did not compete in the 1st leg held in Medellin, Columbia earlier this year.

Syahrizan is looking forward to his toughest battle yet knowing that he has not looked back since he took that ‘long shot’ just three years ago.

Last year he shot into national prominence after breaking two national records in the 1st Series of National Achery Circuit in Malacca.

In the 90m compound, he amassed 343 points to smash the 9-year record of 342 mark set by Muhamad Zaki Mahazan in 2012 circuit.

His second record came in the Fita Round (1440 points) involving four distances of 90m, 70m, 50m and 30m when he collected a total score of 1395 points to surpass the national mark of 1393 points set by Lang Hong Keong.