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Monday November 4, 2013 MYT 5:50:00 PM
Monday November 4, 2013 MYT 5:53:28 PM
by rajes paul
Top national rifle shooter Nur Ayuni Farhana won't be going to the SEA Games but that will not stop her from giving her best at the SEA shooting meet in Subang beginning Thursday at the Subang Range. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: Disappointment was written all over the sweet face of top rifle shooter Nur Ayuni Farhana Abdul Halim when she did not make the squad for next month’s SEA Games in Myanmar.
But she now has a chance to put the smile back on her face when she competes in the South East Asian Shooting (SEASA) Championships starting on Thursday at the Subang Shooting Range.
All the best shooters in the region will be competing.
Ayuni didn’t get to go to Myanmar because the hosts reduced the number of shooting events in the biennial Games.
The National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) are only sending 14 shooters to Myanmar, including four women rifle shooters – Nur Suryani Taibi, Siti Nur Masitah Mohd Badrin, Muslifah Zulkifli and Jaslisa Hamed – to take part in six events.
Shooting used to offer 24 gold medals in previous Games.
The 22-year-old soft-spoken Ayuni, who has competed in the Laos and Jakarta Games, is hoping that a good showing at the SEASA meet would strengthen her place for major tournaments – like the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games – next year.
“I was looking forward to the SEA Games but the hosts scrapped my rifle event (prone). It’s sad that I won’t get a chance to make my third trip to the Games,” said Ayuni, who would have been a gold medal prospect in the 50m rifle three-position.
She broke the national record in the event for the first time in seven years at the National Shooting Championships last month.
“Most of the top shooters in the region will be here. Hopefully, a good showing will strengthen my chances of competing in the Asian and Commonwealth Games next year,” said Ayuni, who will take part in the prone and air rifle events.
At the New Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2012, she teamed up with Suryani for a gold medal in the 10m air pistol doubles event.
Besides the SEASA meet, Ayuni is also down to compete in the Thailand Open shooting championships in Bangkok at the end of the month.
“It has been an okay year for me so far. The change of format in shooting has made it quite exciting for me. In the past, the qualifying scores were taken into the final. Now, the top eight qualifiers have to start from scratch in the final,” she said.
“It gives the eighth qualifier an equal chance against the top qualifier to battle for the medal, which is good ... it opens up the fight in the final.”
Apart from Ayuni, all the members of the SEA Games squad will also compete in SEASA and provide an indication of what to expect from their rivals at the Myanmar Games.
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