NILAI: National recurve archer Ariana Nur Dania Mohamad Zairi (pix) wants to ‘set up camp’ in South Korea to muster the best preparation possible before bringing the national challenge to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games from July 26 to Aug 11.

The 19-year-old, who will be making her debut in the world’s most prestigious Games, said exposure to training abroad was very important as she had only competed twice abroad, in Thailand and Ireland.

Although admitting that she was a bit nervous about the stint in South Korea, Ariana Nur Dania said it was a sacrifice that had to be made if she wanted to produce results for Malaysia on the international stage.

“We discussed (with 2024 Paris Olympic Games Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin) about training abroad (in South Korea) before going to Paris because for me archery is the number one sport in South Korea in addition to exposure abroad. His response was very positive (but we are still waiting for an answer).

“Their (South Korean athletes) rhythm is very good when taking shots and the way they control their emotions is very calm. Some (archers) may be a little nervous but South Korean athletes are rock steady,” said Ariana Nur Dania after Hamidin’s visit to the National Sports Council sports complex here today.

The meeting also discussed the need for the Mechanical Engineering student at the German-Malaysian Institute (GMI), Selangor, to bring additional archery equipment to Paris in preparation for unforeseen circumstances.

In the run-up to the quadrennial games, she will also participate in three international tournaments, namely the World Cup in Shanghai (April), the World Cup in Yecheon, South Korea (May) and the World Cup in Antalya, Turkey (June) in addition to the national championships in Shah Alam, Selangor which starts this Wednesday (Feb 28).

“Since qualifying that day (winning the gold medal in the women’s 70 metres recurve final in Bangkok last year), the coach told me that I would participate in three international tournaments and one national games. I should have participated in a tournament in Iraq this month (but there was a visa problem).

“A bit frustrating (not going to Iraq) but it doesn’t matter because the coaches have also confirmed other tournaments. So far I have only focused on training and on aspects to be improved,” she said.

Meanwhile, national archery coach Muhammad Marbawi Sulaiman hopes that there are still national archers who can qualify for Paris 2024 when the World Cup in Antalya, Turkey this June becomes the last field to win a slot to the Olympics.

“We have four national athletes on the podium, but later during the qualification, we will choose two more who will go with Ariana Nur Dania,“ he said.

Ariana Nur Dania confirmed her Olympic ticket at the Asian Continental Championships in Bangkok in 2023. -Bernama

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