Joseline Cheah is the first Malaysian pistol shooter to reach the world’s top 10 rankings.
PETALING JAYA: Joseline Cheah Lee Yan is on the verge of creating history but she is keeping her feet firmly planted on the ground.
The 29-year-old, the first Malaysian pistol shooter to reach the world’s top 10, will be competing in the women’s 10m air pistol in the ISSF World Cup in Granada, Spain, this weekend. And she hopes to finish in the top eight to clinch a place in the World Cup Finals in Munich from Nov 6-12.
Joseline is now ranked 10th in the overall standings with 747 points, thanks to her silver medal feat in the third leg of the World Cup in Munich in May.
Malaysia did not send any shooters to compete in the first leg in Changwon in April due to the political instability in South Korea. Malaysia also skipped the second leg in Fort Benning, the United States, the following month.
Only the top eight shooters in the standings after the conclusion of the final World Cup leg will qualify automatically but each country is allowed to enter only two participants.
There are currently three shooters from China inside the top 10 standings, including reigning Olympic champion Guo Wenjun. All Joseline needs to do is to make sure she stays inside the top 10 as the Olympic champion automatically gets a place in the World Cup Finals.
“No Malaysian pistol shooter has ever qualified for the World Cup Finals. My target is to try to get in. Anything can happen in shooting and I am not in a position to say how good my chances are.
“I can only try to shoot well on that day. Hopefully, I make the final again in Spain.”
Joseline is certainly adapting well to the new format for all Olympic shooting disciplines in international meets, whereby qualification scores are not be carried into the final.
Shooters have to start from scratch and those with low scores after each round will be eliminated, with the top two fighting for the title. ISSF endorsed the new format last November in a bid to make the sport more appealing and attractive to everyone, especially youngsters.
Joseline has been going great guns, equalling her national record of 388 in the preliminary round of the Tun Hanif Trophy last month.
“If I make the final again, that should be good enough for me to qualify for the World Cup Finals,” said the Penang-born Joseline, the silver medallist at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Besides Joseline, the others selected to compete in Granada by the National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) are Hasli Izwan Amir Hasan (men’s pistol), Mohd Hadafi Jaafar (men’s rifle), Nur Ayuni Farhana (women’s rifle), Joseph Lee (men’s skeet) and Jonathan Wong (men’s pistol).