Shooting

Published: Monday December 2, 2013 MYT 7:32:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday December 3, 2013 MYT 3:38:30 PM

Joseline all fired up to win shooting gold

National pistol shooter Joseline Cheah will be gunning to win her first individual gold medal at the SEA Games in Myanmar beginning Dec 11. - Filepic

National pistol shooter Joseline Cheah will be gunning to win her first individual gold medal at the SEA Games in Myanmar beginning Dec 11. - Filepic

YANGON will host only a small number of sports during the Myanmar SEA Games but top pistol shooter Joseline Cheah is all poised to bring the biggest cheer for Malaysia in the former capital city.

Joseline will take part in two events – women’s 10m pistol individual and team – and, if she gets it right, the 30-year-old could be the biggest winner for the country in Yangon.

Yangon is only hosting seven sports out of the 34 contested in Myanmar. The other sports are bodybuilding, football (preliminary round matches), hockey, kempo, weightlifting and wrestling.

The rest will be at Nayphitaw, the new capital of Myanmar, which is a six-hour bus ride from Yangon where Malaysia are expected to win the bulk of their targeted 40 gold medals.

Joseline is hoping to end the year with a bang at the Games – after enjoying a rather excellent year in her shooting career.

She shot to stardom this year when she equalled her national record of 388 points in the 10m air pistol en route to winning a silver medal in the third leg of the World Cup in Munich. She is only the second shooter after rifle shooter Nur Suryani Taibi to win a medal at the World Cup series.

“There are just a few sports in Yangon but I’m sure the attention will still be on us (the shooters). It doesn’t matter how the environment will be – whether less fanfare or excitement – in Yangon because, to me, I’d rather focus on my own game,” said Joseline.

“I’m hoping to win both my events. I want to return home from the Games really and truly satisfied.”

Joseline made her SEA Games debut in Manila in 2005. She has since competed in every SEA Games, expect for the 2007 edition in Korat because of a two-year ban for unknowingly consuming a banned substance during a local competition.

“The first Games is the most memorable. I was a rookie then. Everything was a new experience and I still cherish every moment of it. The other Games have their own memories too and it will be great if I can make Myanmar another special one by winning my first individual gold medal,” said Joseline, whose best outing in SEA Games was winning a team bronze medal at the 2009 Games in Laos.

Despite shooting for almost a decade, Joseline said she has lost none of her appetite for success.

“I look forward to every tournament as though it’s my first. Shooting is my career and I go into every competition with only one aim – to win. So, the SEA Games is still very important to me,” she said.

Joseline is all the more pumped up after finishing 10th in World Cup Finals in Munich, where she competed alongside some of the best, including reigning world champion Zorana Arunovic of Serbia and defending champion Olena Kostevych of Ukraine.

“My 10th position shows that I still have space to improve. I discovered the area that I need to put more attention to. All these will only help me grow as a shooter,” said Joseline, who was the first Malaysian to feature in the Finals.

In the team event at the SEA Games, Joseline will be shooting with her good friend Bibiana Ng and Wahidah Ismail and they do have enough depth to beat strong teams from Thailand, Indonesia and the hosts.

Tags / Keywords: SEA Games, Myanmar, Nyapyitaw, Nyapidaw, shooter, Joseline Cheah

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