THE expected rebound failed to materialise as Malaysia's archers fell at the first stage of the team elimination round at Lord's yesterday.
Team manager Tan Sri Abdul Halil Mutalib had, after the ranking round on Friday, predicted a resurgent Malaysia in the elimination stage but instead, Cheng Chu Sian, Khairul Anuar Mohamad and Haziq Kamaruddin just couldn't get going against Mexico.
What made defeat even more bitter was the fact that at World No 11, Malaysia were ranked three steps above the Mexicans but lost 216-211. Chu Sian said a poor start cost them dearly.
"We tried to catch up in the last three games but were unable to do so. I really thought we had a chance of making the quarter-finals but it was not to be," added Chu Sian, who was a double quarter-finalist in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Khairul, who has slowly but surely replaced Chu Sian as the top national archer, said he was disappointed with his performance.
"I know that I can do better but I don't know why I couldn't perform. It is disappointing but I will try to bounce back in the individual event," said Khairul.
Haziq admitted that nerves played a major part in his failure to do more.
"This is my first Olympics and I got nervous. The conditions were perfect but my nerves let me down," said Haziq.
Touted as potential medallists in the team event, the archers now have to show their worth in tomorrow's individual event where Chu Sian is drawn to meet Khairul in the first round while Haziq will square off with Kazakhstan's Denis Gankin.