The Malaysian faces Great Britain’s Larry Godfrey at the Lord’s Cricket Ground today. A win would take him into the quarter-finals against either a Japanese or Norway rival.
Khairul is grouped in the top half of the draw with world champion and top seed Im Dong-hyun of South Korea.
“It’s a tough draw as the top half has some very good archers. I’m not thinking about the next round yet as I have to get past the Briton first,” he said.
“It’s all about your form on the day and I’m hoping that the break hasn’t affected mine. The slightest mistake can be costly as every arrow counts. That’s why we have to be ready from the start.”
Khairul is ranked fifth in the world while Godfrey is 10th but rankings do not mean much at this level. “South Korea broke the world record twice in the team event but yet ended up in third place. I just need to stay focused and give it my best shot. Luck can be a factor as well,” he said.
Besides archery, Malaysians will also see action in track cycling and diving.
Fateha Mustapha, the nation’s first woman cyclist in the Olympics, will be competing in the keirin.
“I just want to try and make the final. That will be an achievement as the competition here is really strong,” said Fateha.
Diver Ng Yan Yee will take part in the individual 3m springboard preliminaries hoping to qualify for the finals.
Yesterday, Khoo Cai Lin’s Olympic outing ended in her very first swim at the Aquatic Centre yesterday.
Cai Lin finished a poor sixth in Heat Two of the 800m freestyle in 8:51.18, well off her personal best of 8:45.36.