Tokyo Olympics taught me importance of self-confidence – Syaqiera


TOKYO – If there’s one thing national archer Syaqiera Mashayikh (picture) can take from her maiden Olympic Games outing in Tokyo is the importance of self-confidence.

The youngster also said she was proud of her achievement despite her first-round exit from the world’s biggest multi-sports Games.

“Of course, I am proud of my achievement. I am glad I learned something about self-confidence. I hope to increase my mental strength and skills so that I can perform much better in major tournaments in the future,” said the 20-year-old.

Syaqiera began her Tokyo Olympic campaign by competing in the women’s recurve individual event in style, setting a personal best of 630 points in the ranking round last Friday (July 23).

However, the world number 355 archer realised that she is still a long way off from her dream of becoming a world champion when she lost 4-6 to world number four Elena Osipova of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) on Tuesday (July 27).

It must be noted, though, that the Tokyo Olympics is only her third international outing after the 2020 Olympic Games Qualifying Championships and Archery World Cup Stage 3 in Paris last month.

“For me, the experience I’ve gained in Tokyo is very meaningful and invaluable, especially since this is my first Olympic outing,” said the former Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School in Bandar Penawar and Pahang Sports School in Gambang.

Commenting on her exit from the Games, Syaqiera believes that if only she had handled her nerves and the pressure better, the outcome of her match against Osipova at the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field here could have been different.

She also said that the reason why her hands seemed to be unsteady when she was about to shoot the arrows was due to the strong wind, which made it difficult for her to aim for the target consistently.

Syaqiera managed to score 126 points from 15 arrows to lose by seven points to Osipova, who won the team gold medal at the European Championships last month.

“My nervousness gave my opponent the advantage although she too seemed to feel the pressure. But she managed to control her nerves better, thanks to her vast experience,” said Syaqiera.

For the record, Syaqiera is the third national woman archer to have qualified for the Olympics after Mon Redee Sut Txi (Athens 2004) and Nurul Syafiqah Hashim (London 2012).

Now that her maiden Olympic journey is over, Syaqiera plans to get ready to do better in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China and the 2021 Vietnam SEA Games, which has been postponed to next year.