Archery: Singapore's Nur Syahidah Alim is new No. 1 in Para World Rankings

SINGAPORE – Winning a Paralympic medal has long been in Nur Syahidah Alim’s cross hairs and her hopes of achieving that dream at next year’s Tokyo Games received a boost after the Singaporean recently clinched the world No. 1 spot.

In the October classification by World Archery – rankings are usually released at the start of every month – the 34-year-old leads the standings of the compound women open individual category with 195.2 points.

Briton Jessica Stretton, who won gold at the 2016 Rio Games in the compound W1 category (impairment in all four limbs, uses a wheelchair), is second on 193.8 points with Russia’s former world No. 1 Stepanida Artakhinova third on 190.

Syahidah, who made her debut at the 2016 edition and reached the quarter-finals in the open division, told The Straits Times on Sunday (Oct 6): “I feel very proud and honoured to bring Singapore to the top of the world in archery.

“One of my goals as an archer was to be a world champion. To be ranked first in the world for this season, thus far, would be my greatest achievement.

“It means a lot, not only for me, but also for the team behind me, knowing that all our hard work, effort and dedication are paying off.

“I will continue to work harder to represent and bring Singapore to greater heights in sports.”

Her next competitions are the Oct 19-26 Asian Para Archery Championships in Bangkok and the Jan 18-25 Asean Para Games in the Philippines.

Syahidah, who has a master’s degree in knowledge management, has proven her ability at the highest level. In June, she held her nerve to beat Stretton in a shoot-off to win the Republic’s first World Archery Para Championship gold.

“My ultimate goal is to reach the podium in Tokyo 2020,” said Syahidah.

“Training has been really intense preparing for the Asean Para Games and the Paralympics next year.

“I feel motivated to work harder to bring Singapore more sporting milestones and I will continue to do my best in upcoming competitions.”

After Syahidah posted the good news on her Facebook page, she received plenty of congratulatory messages from supporters.

Austin Tan wrote: “May not know you before this but will root for you whenever I see your name. Good job and keep it going! You have made us all proud.”

Singapore has clinched nine Paralympic medals – three golds, two silvers and four bronzes – but they have come from only two sports, equestrian and swimming.

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