Asian Games Champ Baatarkhuyag upbeat ahead of Yecheon

Otgonbold Baatarkhuyag shoots in Shanghai.

Otgonbold Baatarkhuyag is upbeat about his chances at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The 27-year-old qualified the recurve men’s spot for Mongolia by winning a surprise individual gold at the last Asian Games in Hangzhou, marking the first major international result in his country’s long competitive history in the sport.

Baatarkhuyag made his Olympic debut in Tokyo but was eliminated in the first round by China’s Li Jialun.

The world number 46 puts that disappointing result in Japan down to a lung illness. He believes that this summer in the French capital, he’ll write a different story.

“I have been preparing for Paris for four years,” said Baatarkhuayg. “My body feels normal now because in the last Olympics I felt sick.”

“I am expecting much better than Tokyo.”

Baatarkhuyag may have secured a men’s quota spot – and likely his own second Olympics – but Mongolia is targeting much more, looking to add women’s (and ideally team) places at June’s final qualifier in Antalya.

“Right now, I have two goals: long-term and short-term. Short-term, we’re trying to get an Olympic quota as a team,” said Baatarkhuyag

“The long-term goal for me is the Olympic Games, and I am practising hard for that.”

The Asian Games Champion is due to compete at the second stage of the 2024 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Yecheon this week, his sixth appearance on the international tour after stints in 2016, 2019, 2021 and now this season.

Baatarkhuyag failed to qualify for the eliminations phase of the season opener in Shanghai last month. He qualified 68th. Only the top 64 seeds advance.

Ever optimistic. Otgonbold is positive he’ll bag a better result in Korea.

“I think my practice went very well and I’m ready for the competition,” said Baatarkhuyag. “My personality and passion are still the same as before the Asian Games, but I understand that I need to try harder.”

Competition in Yecheon starts with compound qualifying on Tuesday afternoon. Otgonbold’s first scoring arrows are on Wednesday afternoon.