National archer Khairul Anuar Mohamad missed out on the men’s individual recurve world title after losing in the 2019 Archery World Championships final to world number three Brady Ellison in the Netherlands on Sunday.
The world number 22 was fully focused and determined in the historic final to fight until the last arrow before losing the shoot-off 8-10 to the American, who won his maiden individual title at the 2019 Archery World Championships.
Despite the defeat in the final, Khairul's feat was a proud one as he became the first Malaysian to win a medal at the World Championships.
Prior to this, Malaysia’s best ever achievement at the World Championship was a quarter-finals feat by Cheng Chu Sian in the 2007 edition at the Leipzig, Germany.
He also claimed his berth to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after ousting Jack Williams of the United States 7-3 in the quarter-finals, before advancing to the finals by defeating Ruman Shana of Bangladesh 5-3 in the semi-finals on Friday.
In the nerve-wrecking final, both archers were tied 5-5 at one point, with them shooting identical 27-27, 29-29 and 28-28 in the first three sets.
The 30-year-old Ellison had a slight advantage in the fourth set by winning 29-28, but Terengganu-born Khairul levelled again by securing the fifth set 28-26, forcing the tie int the shoot-off to decide the winner in the world meet.
Ruman won the bronze medal after defeating Italian Mauro Nespolu 7-1 in the third/fourth place playoff.
For the record, para-archer S. Suresh emerged as the first Malaysian to win gold at the World Para Archery Championships by claiming the men’s open recurve individual title recently.