Archer Nur Syahidah Alim begins her preparations for the coveted gold medal in the women’s indiviudal compound open at the 2022 ASEAN Para Games (APG).
“Going to the final, I’m just going to do my best and focus on what I need to do like my form and my process,” she says.
Syahidah outshot Indonesia’s Tuwariyah 142-131 in the quarters-finals and Thailand’s Phannibha Srathongmaew in the semis 141-128 to reach the finals.
“The quarterfinal (against Indonesia’s Tuwariyah) went well, but I was having a bit of challenge with the heat. There were some ends that were pretty close. I was a little bit anxious but told myself to keep calm. In the semifinal, there was a bit of problem with the wind but I still kept my cool and my concentration and focused on my coach’s voice and my form and my process. Overall, I’m happy with it going well,” said the 36-year-old.
Crowned the Sportswoman of the Year at the 2020 Singapore Disability Sports Awards, Syahidah is no stranger to the upper echelons of para archery having won gold in the 2019 World Archery Para Championships, and reaching the elimination rounds of eights in the 2021 Toyko Paralympics. She has her sights set for Paris 2024.
Back in Solo, Syahidah began her campaign by topping her qualification group of 11 with a total score of 688. She holds two gold medals for para archery in the 2015 APG in Singapore and is eager to turn her collection into a hattrick this coming Thursday. Her competition against fellow finalist Praphaporn Homjanthuek of Thailand however, will not be a walk in the park.
Praphaporn is ranked 19th in the world for the compound women open category and participated in Toyko 2021. She finished third in the same qualification group as Syahidah, with a total score of 661 and edged past fierce competition from Indonesia and Myanmar to reach the finals. The finalists will shoot for gold at Lapangan Kota Barat Stadium on 4 Aug.
Unfortunately the pairing of Syahidah and Lim Qi Mao, slated for the compound open mixed team elimination round of fours, did not start. Similarly in his individual compound open men elimination round of eights, Lim did not start.
Elsewhere, Ang Chee Hiong did not advance to the knockout stages of the men’s singles standing SL4 for para badminton after losing 2-1 to Thailand’s Teamarrom Siripong. Similarly, Edwin Tan concluded his campaign in standard chess after he lost to Indonesia duo Yadi Sopiyan and Prasetyo Fitrianto. Tan will have his go in rapid and blitz chess in the coming days.
There is a little silver lining in women’s goalball. Singapore’s team will be advancing to the semi-finals after beating the team from Myanmar 8-3.
Travelling north to the Jati Diri Swimming Complex in Semarang, Singapore’s Darren Chan clocked in at 29.72 and secured a bronze medal for the men’s 50M butterfly S14 timed finals. Teammate Jeremiah Liauw finished 5th out of 5 in the men’s 50M breaststroke SB5 timed finals but managed to set a new national record and personal best at 1:02.03.
The cameras will be paying close attention to the Jati Diri Swimming Complex tomorrow as Colin Soon and Wong Zhi Wei looks set to add to the growing collection of medals for Team Singapore’s para swimmers. Team mate Danielle Moi will be eager to put her name on the medal tally as she waits to begin her APG campaign with a splash.
Catch the sporting action live here at TheHomeGroud Asia, and cheer Team Singapore’s para athletes on as they strive for gold in Solo Indonesia for the 2022 ASEAN Para Games.