National para archer S. Suresh (pic) was at the height of his career when he won the world title last year, but now, he believes he has to start all over again.
Suresh, who was one of the many athletes who attended the centralised camp in quarantine under strict guidelines at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil last month, said he struggled to cope after staying at home for more than three months.
The 26-year-old is now on a break and waiting for the second phase of training to resume at the Paralympic Centre of Excellence in Kampung Pandan from July 20.
Suresh said the one-month stint was a wake-up call.
“I was happy to lay my hands on my bow after three months but the training during the camp was tough. I felt that I was at the beginner level,” said Suresh.
“My form had declined so much. My posture, strength were all gone. My coach said even the way I used my fingers to draw the bow string had changed. I was shocked.
“I had to spend the first two weeks to reset my stance.
“The good thing is that I’ve qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics early so I have plenty of time to recapture my old form.
“I think it will take some time before competitions take place, including the local ones.”
Suresh, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the world, created history after he became the first Malaysian to win the recurve gold at the World Archery Para Championships in Hertogenbosch, Holland, last year.
The sensational win earned him the ticket to compete at the Paralympics.
He will be accompanied to Tokyo by compatriot Wiro Julin, who won the men’s individual silver medal at the Asian Para Archery Championships in Bangkok last October