Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Kelantan indoor archery cup 2017 - Part 2

The fellowship of archers
A day of reckoning...

The alarm rang. It was 05:30am in the morning. I loaded my gear onto the car and since it was a tad too early, I took a walk around the neighbourhood.
There was ample time to have breakfast and shoot straight to PUTIK and set up our shooting gear for the competition.
We had breakfast in Kota Baru's Chinatown before heading off to Pengkalan Chepa where the tournament was held.

At the shooting line during practice session
The bird-flu scare...

Kelantan was under the scrutiny of Health Authorities after an outbreak of the H5N1 virus was reported.
This prompted many archers to pull out, fearing the contagious disease.
That said, there were only nine barebow archers taking part. Some came at the very last-minute and to my surprise, they were really good!
Prior to commencing the shoot, event director coach Wan Abu Bakar gave a briefing and told us how the format works.
Each person is given one minute to enter the waiting area and another two minutes to shoot.
Since the Kelantan Indoor Archery Cup 2017 is a World Archery sanctioned event, it is officially recorded on video. Results and ranking are also posted on-line.

Champion barebow archer Suhairi Ariffin in action

Wan Rohazian, runner-up at the barebow tournament
Penang's Jeffery Pang won the bronze medal
Kelantan's full of surprises!

There were nine archers in the barebow category. Eight out of the lot will go to the elimination rounds.
Apart from Wan Rohafizan, who is a familiar face in the barebow circuit, most of the other guys were complete strangers.
At the shooting line, I met Jeffery Pang, an archer from Penang. The guy shot very well and was a real livewire.
Ouf the nine, there were three non-Malays. 
During qualifying, I was assigned to lane 1 and shot with Suhairi Ariffin an archer who originates from Kelantan.
A man of few words, Suhari shot 28 points at the first end of round one.
Almost immediately, I was shooting with one of the best barebow archers in the country.
I caught up with him and was told that he had only started barebow archery three months ago. Prior to that, Suhairi was a traditional archer.
That said, it was no surprise he shot 260/1 and 255/2 to earn 515 points and ranked first in the tournament.
During the finals, it was Wan Rohafizan vs Suhairi Ariffin. After five ends, Suhairi took the match and won.
He became the first sponsored archer to take part at the International Barebow Championships in Bangkok later this year. 
Rohafizan took the silver medal while bronze went to Jeffery Pang.

Coach Wan Abu Bakar announcing the winners of the Barebow shootout
Champion archers: Suhairi and Rohafizan
A journey of self-discovery...

I beat my personal best by scoring 206 points in round one. That's keeping calm under heavy pressure and putting as many arrows as possible in the smaller rings.
In round two, I managed to score only 181 points and came in seventh. After two rounds, my total score was 387. I came in ranked 6th at the event. Didn't really matter to me at all, but the defining moment for me was the ability to score more than 200 points at a tournament. This is the reward for constant training and personal improvement. In the months to come as the Thailand Princess Cup archery tournament is building up, I hope to maintain my training scores at 200 points. The only factor that is bothering me is astigmatism. I can hardly see under the poor lighting conditions and my aim was badly affected. I hope to fix this in the months to come. That said, the Kelantan event was an eye-opener and a really well-organised event. Kudos to coach Wan Abu Bakar for putting up a good show. We hope to participate at the event again next year...

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