Malaysia will attend only Shanghai before heading to the 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships. Malaysian recurve man Khairul Anuar Mohamad finished sixth over the recurve men’s ranking round in Shanghai. He was one of seven archers who broke 670 points during qualification – Khairul scored 676 – and in the cluster who trailed only Korean leaders Lee Woo Seok and Kim Woojin.
Right there with him was Sjef van den Berg, Brady Ellison, Lee Seungyun and Mete Gazoz – arguably a roll call of the best recurve men in the world active at the moment.
And Khairul thinks he belongs right there with them.
“This qualification proves that I can shoot or go head-to-head with those who are always present and shooting more World Cup events than I do,” he said. “Today, I followed what my coach tells me to do, which is shoot without pressure, focusing on one arrow at a time.”
Khairul’s first international qualification of the year comes in one point higher than the 675 he shot to lead the ranking round last year in Salt Lake City.
That was a windy event and, to a lesser extent, so was this morning in Shanghai.
“When there’s wind involved, the scores might not be as good as you expect, but it’s important to just stick to your process,” he said. “I maintained my rhythm and technique, despite the wind.”
The 27-year-old has been shooting internationally since 2011. He’s got a single individual Hyundai Archery World Cup podium to his name, back in Shanghai in 2011, but has long seemed a contender for bigger results.
Khairul came sixth at the London 2012 Olympic Games and at the World Cup Final in 2013, lost in the second round at Rio 2016, and came close to qualifying for a second World Cup Final in 2018 – eventually finishing the season 10th in the rankings.
This top-eight seeding to start Shanghai is just that, a start, but converting a good qualification into a second career podium finish would go a long way towards proving that his name belongs among the world’s best.