Above: Para-archer Nur Syahidah Bte Alim at the Pilsen 2023 World Archery Para Championships
(Image credit: World Archery)
Para-archer Nur Syahidah Bte Alim secured the first slot for Singapore to next year’s Paralympic Games by ranking sixth overall out of 46 competitors in the Women’s Compound Open category at the Pilsen 2023 World Archery Para Championships, held in Pilsen, Czech Republic, from 17 to 23 July.
Syahidah advanced to the Round of 16 to face off against Mexico’s Montiel Liliana, after scoring 685 in the qualification round. She eased to the Round of 8 after dominating the round with a score of 136 against Liliana’s 114.
Tension was high between Syahidah and Great Britain’s Jessica Stretton in the Round of 8, as they took turns to outdo each other, before finally meeting eye to eye at 134 points. Eventually, a shoot-off landed Syahidah in the quarter finals.
Currently ranked world number 2 in the Women’s Compound Open category, Jane Karla Gogel (Brazil) took the lead from the first end in the quarters, which held till the final end despite a valiant effort by Syahidah to close the gap in the third end. Gogel went for a final push and ultimately finished with a score of 139 to Syahidah’s 134, which resulted in the latter missing out on the semis.
Nonetheless, Syahidah’s commendable ranking at the World Championships has sealed a spot for Singapore in the Paralympic Games to be held next year. “I feel proud and honoured to be able to qualify Singapore for the Paralympics 2024. It was a challenging competition for me, but I’m glad that I’m able to reach the top 8 with the support of my coach, Qing Liang, and the Sport Science Institute (SSI) team,” said Syahidah. “I will do my best and work even harder for my upcoming games.”
The 2023 World Championships marks the first and most significant qualifying event for para archery towards the Games, with 78 slots out of the 140 total sports being offered to the top ranked archers at the Championships. This includes 12 slots to the top ranked athletes in the Women’s Compound category. More than 200 para archers from 30 countries vied for the coveted spots at the Championships.
Ms Kelly Fan, Executive Director of the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC), shared, “As we approach 2024, this season takes on immense significance for our athletes and teams, who have worked through an extraordinary period to gun for their qualifications barely two years out from the Tokyo games. Many of them have been playing catch-up with events returning to the sports calendars at a fast and furious pace. The Pilsen 2023 World Archery Para Championships, as the primary qualifying event, serves as a litmus test for our para archery team’s preparation. We are happy for the team that their hard work has clearly paid off, and it will now be crucial for them to stay focused, dedicated, and continue their rigorous training regimens.”
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