Paralympics: S'pore archer Syahidah says missing out on q-final 'will only make me stronger'

Nur Syahidah Alim (second from left) competes in the Women's individual compound open ranking round at Yumenoshima Ranking field in Tokyo, on Aug 27, 2021.
Nur Syahidah Alim (second from left) competes in the Women's individual compound open ranking round at Yumenoshima Ranking field in Tokyo, on Aug 27, 2021.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - It was a day of disappointment in Tokyo for Singapore’s medal hopeful Nur Syahidah Alim, as the world No. 2 saw her second Paralympics campaign come to a premature end on Monday (Aug 30) after she was knocked out in the 1/8 elimination round of the women’s individual compound open.

The 36-year-old, who reached the pinnacle of her sport in October 2019 before dipping one spot last month, missed out on the quarter-finals after she was beaten 140-136 by Turkey’s world No. 7 Sevgi Yorulmaz at the Yumenoshima Final Field.

Syahidah, who has cerebral palsy, said: “I am disappointed with today’s results. 

“We have trained hard for the last five years and I expected more from myself. Nevertheless, there are positives to take from this experience and it will only make me stronger.

“Together with my coach and the team, we’ll take some time to reflect and to analyse the performance. Looking at the bigger picture, this is a small setback to what we want to achieve. 

“We have made progress in the last few years and we are moving in the right direction.

“I thank everyone who has been on this journey with me and I am looking forward to the next competition.”

Ahead of the Tokyo Paralympics, Syahidah was aiming to better her performance at the 2016 Rio Games, where she qualified for the quarter-finals.
 
Her contest against Yorulmaz saw both archers engaged in a neck-to-neck tussle from the start, with the score tied at 57-all after six arrows each.

But the 39-year-old Turk began to pull away after that, taking the lead by one point after nine arrows before claiming victory and a spot in the last eight, where she was beaten 139-129 by Stepanida Artakhinova of the Russian Paralympic Committee.

Briton Phoebe Paterson Pine won the gold after narrowly beating Chile’s Mariana Zuniga Varela 134-133 in the final. 

Italian world No. 3 Maria Andrea Virgilio claimed the bronze after notching a 142-139 win over Artakhinova in the third-place play-off.

Over at the Tokyo Equestrian Park, equestrienne Laurentia Tan wrapped up her fourth Paralympics campaign with a fifth-place finish in the individual freestyle test – Grade I.

The four-medal Paralympian, who has cerebral palsy and profound deafness, and her horse Banestro scored 75.060 points.

American Roxanne Trunnell claimed gold with a score of 86.927, while Latvia’s Rihards Snikus (82.087) and Italy’s Sara Morganti (81.100) took the silver and bronze medals respectively.

Tan, 42, had secured a place in yesterday’s event after achieving a top-eight finish in the dressage individual test – Grade I last Friday.

In the dressage team test to music event over the weekend, Tan and compatriots Gemma Foo and Maximillian Tan came in 14th of 15 teams.

Tan said: “It was a good performance with Banestro, he was nice and relaxed, and I really enjoyed the ride. 

“It’s been amazing to be here in Tokyo. It’s been an honour and a privilege to be here, and I wish it was under better circumstances.

“However, everyone has been so warm, welcoming and encouraging – I would like to say thank you to Japan for their amazing hospitality and for making my first trip to Japan a memorable one."