TOKYO: National archer Khairul Anuar Mohamad was the coolest man in the heat of battle when he won the one-arrow shoot-off twice with perfect 10s to march into the third round of the men’s recurve individual event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games today.
The 29-year-old, who is ranked 15th in the world, found himself staring at two equally dramatic one-arrow shoot-offs after being tied at 5-5 with his first and second round opponents at the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field here.
In the first round this morning, Khairul found himself trailing 5-3 heading into the fifth and final set against Finland’s Antti Vikstrom.
But he enjoyed a huge slice of luck when the Finnish archer’s bow broke in the fifth set.
Khairul kept his cool to win the set to tie the score at 5-5 before shooting a 10 in the ensuing shoot-off.
In the second round, he went 5-3 up against China’s Wang Dapeng before the latter won the fifth set to make it 5-5 and force a shoot-off.
Wang shot a nine, which meant Khairul needed a 10 to go through.
He pulled the rabbit out of the hat for the second consecutive shoot-off to send his opponent packing.
Khairul, who lost in the second round during the 2016 Rio edition, is scheduled to compete in the third round on Saturday.
The Terengganu-born bowman said he was grateful to have qualified for the third round despite two suspenseful shoot-offs and admitted he still has a lot to improve on ahead of his next matchup.
“Alhamdulillah, I won both my matches although they went into shoot-offs. However, I did not perform that well because my focus was a little off. I need to work on that in the next round,” he said.
Khairul admitted luck was on his side when Vikstrom’s bow broke in the fifth and final set.
“Of course I felt the pressure today. But if I can be 100% focused on shooting (the arrows), whatever the condition, I can overcome them.
“I have to say lady luck was smiling on me when my opponent’s bow broke.
“In the second round, I began well in the first three sets before losing my focus in the fourth and fifth sets. My coach told me to be more focused in the shoot-off and I managed to do just that!”