KUALA LUMPUR: The national archery team ended a two-year wait to win a medal at an international tournament when they took bronze in the men's team recurve event at the 2021 Asian Cup in Gwangju, South Korea, yesterday.

The national trio of Olympian Khairul Anuar Mohamad, Muhamad Zarif Syahiir Zolkepeli and Muhammad Akmal Nor Hasrin lost to the Japanese team, represented by Takaharu Furukawa, Yuki Kawata and Hiroki Muto, 5-4 in the semi-finals.

Only three teams competed in the event following the withdrawal of Kazakhstan from the tournament.

Japan are scheduled to face hosts South Korea in today's final.

The last time the trio achieved a podium finish was at the 2019 Asian Cup in Clark, the Philippines, where they also won bronze in the same event.

Malaysia won four gold, one silver and five bronze medals in the 2019 tournament.

The three are expected to compete in a tournament in Paris, France on June 18-20.

The focus is definitely on Muhamad Zarif Syahiir and Muhammad Akmal, who are eyeing a slot at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, next month, as the tournament is the last qualifying event for the Olympics.

Khairul Anuar had secured his place in the Olympics after winning a silver medal at the World Archery Championships in Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, in June 2019.

Tokyo 2020 will be the third Olympics appearance for Khairul Anuar, 29, after the London 2012 and Rio 2016 editions, which also saw Muhammad Akmal make his Olympics debut in Brazil.

The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 23 to Aug 8.