Eyes On The Prize: Syahidah Takes Aim At The Next Game
You could say that Nur Syahidah Alim was predestined to excel in the arena of archery. "I started to get to know about archery when I was 18 years old. I remember at that time I was trying out different sports at the Disability Expo. And archery seemed to strike me very close to my heart," she says.
Almost 15 years later, the para-archer made her debut on the grand stage of the 2016 Paralympic Games, becoming Singapore's first female representative of the sport. Syahidah went on to become Singapore's first World champion in 2019.
On her return to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo this year, Syahidah had hoped to better her previous quarter-final finish but it wasn't meant to be. "I am disappointed with today's results. We have trained hard for the last five years and I expected more from myself," says the para-archer who didn't make it past the 1/8 elimination round of the women's individual compound open on Monday (30 Aug).
Nevertheless, Syahidah has not lost sight of the progress she has made and the positive direction the sport is heading in, thanks to her exploits. Together with her coach and team, she is taking the positives from this experience and aims to come back even stronger.
The 36-year-old was born with cerebral palsy, which affects the lower half of her body, affecting her mobility and posture. She attributes her positive spirit and strength in adversity to her experiences growing up and the great family support she has, especially her mum.
"She always tells me to always challenge myself, and to always challenge society – that you are not weak, you can be strong, and you are capable of doing things just like a normal person does," says Syahidah.
It is no surprise, then, that this resilient para-athlete takes everything in her stride and has her eye on the target - the future.
"Looking at the bigger picture, this is a small setback to what we want to achieve," she says. "I thank everyone who has been on this journey with me and I am looking forward to the next competition."
Achievements in Archery:
- 2015 ASEAN Para Games 2x Gold Medal
- 2016 Rio Paralympic Games Quarter-Finals (1st Singapore female representative)
- 2019 World No. 1 rank in the Para Compound Women Open Individual Category
- 2021 Tokyo Paralympic Games Elimination Round