KUALA LUMPUR: National archer, Khairul Anuar Mohamad missed the elusive men’s individual recurve world title after losing in the finals to world number three, Brady Ellison via the shoot-off at the Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, tonight.
The world number 22, Khairul, was fully focused and determined in the historic final to fight till the last arrow, before losing the shoot-off 8-10 to the United States’ heavy favourite, as the latter won his maiden individual title at the 2019 Archery World Championships.
Regardless of the defeat in the final, Khairul’s feat was a proud one as he becomes the first Malaysian to win a medal at the World Championships.
In the nerve-wracking final, both archers tied 5-5, as both archers shot identical 27-27, 29-29 and 28-28 in the first three sets.
The 30-year-old Ellison had a slight advantage in the fourth set by winning 29-28, but Terengganu-born Khairul levelled again by securing the fifth set 28-26, forcing the tie into shoot-off to decide the winner in the world meet, streamed live in World Archery’s official YouTube channel.
Khairul claimed his berth to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after ousting Jack Williams of United States 7-3 in the quarter-finals, before advancing to the finals by defeating Ruman Shana of Bangladesh 5-3 in the semi-finals on Friday.
Prior to this, Malaysia’s best ever achievement at the World Championship was a quarter-finals feat by Cheng Chu Sian in the 2007 edition in Leipzig, Germany.
Ruman won the bronze medal after defeating Italian Mauro Nespolu 7-1 in the third/fourth place playoff.
The 27-year-old Khairul had previously won bronze medals in the 2017 and 2018 Salt Lake City World Cup.
For the record, para-archer S. Suresh emerged as the first Malaysian to win gold at the World Para Archery Championships by claiming the men’s open recurve individual title, recently.