National men's recurve archer Khairul Anuar Mohamad is ready to hit the bull's-eye at the ongoing 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games to signal his revival after some less-than-inspiring performances of late.
Khairul Anuar, however, admitted that it won't be easy to shoulder the challenge at the quadrennial Games, especially after being dropped from the Podium Programme last year.
"It has been quite difficult gearing up for the Asiad because I am no longer under the Podium Programme. I had to manage my finances and train on my own ahead of the Asiad.
"Alhamdulillah, NAAM (National Archery Association of Malaysia) helped a little by providing a bit of allowance after I was dropped from the Podium Programme. I was also allowed to attend the final three-week training camp with the national team recently,” he said.
He told Bernama this at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 1 here before leaving for Hangzhou today.
Khairul Anuar revealed that he also served as a part-time coach at several archery clubs in Kuala Lumpur to help cover his training costs ahead of the Hangzhou Asiad.
The Olympian hopes that his hard work will pay off and he will be able to help the national team to deliver at least one medal in his third Asiad appearance, having featured in the 2014 edition in Incheon, South Korea and the 2018 edition in Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia.
"I want to put Malaysia on the world map. It doesn't matter that I was dropped (from the Podium Programme), I am still determined to raise the profile of Malaysian archery,” he said.
The 32-year-old said his participation in the men's individual recurve event will determine whether or not he gets to compete in the men's team and mixed team events.
"Four of us will compete in the qualifying stage to determine our rankings. The top archer from each country will qualify to take part in the mixed team event; the top two will also qualify for the individual event and the top three can take part in the men's team event,” he said.
He said it was important for him to rise again in Hangzhou as it would help in his run-up to qualify for the Olympic Games, which he aims to compete in for the fourth consecutive time, after London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
The archer, who is from Kemaman, Terengganu, was dropped from the Podium Programme after the 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam following a dismal performance in the biennial Games.
At the 2021 SEA Games, Khairul Anuar clinched a silver in the mixed event with Syaqiera Mashayikh and two bronze medals in the individual event as well as the men's team event with Muhamad Zarif Syahiir Zolkepeli and Bryson Ting.
The archery event at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games will be held at the Fuyang Yinhu Sports Centre from Oct 1-7.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency