Bemedaled Malaysian archer aims to win back SEA Games gold in PH
PETALING JAYA — National compound archery ace Fatin Nurfatehah Mat Salleh has set her sights on reclaiming the individual glory she lost two years ago in Kuala Lumpur.
The 28-year-old Sabahan was the overwhelming favorite to defend the gold she won in Singapore 2015 but lost in the semifinals and eventually settled for bronze. She did bounce back strongly to win gold in the team and mixed team competitions but her failure to get the individual gold saw her fall short of repeating her glorious treble in Singapore.
Fatin is the first Malaysian archer – recurve or compound – to accomplish the extraordinary triple gold feat.
However, she is ready to wrest back the title when he travels to the Philippines for her sixth straight Games appearance.
“That was a big miss in Kuala Lumpur, otherwise it would have been a perfect outing for the second Games running,” said Fatin, who has amassed nine medals to date including three silvers — one in Laos 2009 and two in Palembang 2011.
“At that time, I was quite disappointed with myself. But I didn’t really dwell on it because some days you win, some days you lose. Two golds and one bronze wasn’t so shabby.
“But I would certainly love to try get that individual gold back as well as try for another hattrick of golds.”
Besides individual glory, Fatin is also hoping to live up to Malaysia’s top billing in the women’s and mixed team competitions and defend their titles.
They have been putting up a series of convincing performances leading to the Games.
With teammates Nur Aina Yasmine Halim and Nurul Syazhera Mohd Asmi, the trios bagged the team titles in the Asia Cup’s legs in Bangkok in March and Clark, the SEA Games venue, in September.
Also in Clark, Fatin joined forces with Juwaidi Mazuki to clinch the mixed team gold.
Despite being a serial winner, Fatin admitted that she still feels nervous each time she enters the archery range.
“I have been competing for over 10 years now, but I still can’t help but feel a little bit nervous,” said Fatin.
“Being nervous is not a bad thing. It makes you more focused and prevents you from getting over-confident.
“This will be my sixth SEA Games, but my appetite to win is as big as ever.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.