Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi celebrates winning the bronze medal in the 10m air rifle finals at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games on Saturday. - RAJES PAUL/ The Star
GLASGOW: Shooter Nur Suryani Taibi showed that she is still a force to be reckoned with after winning a bronze medal in the women’s 10m air rifle event at the Barry Buddon Shooting Range.
The 32-year-old mother gunned down the shooting team’s first medal in Glasgow with a score of 184.4 points in a nerve-wracking final round.
India made it a 1-2 sweep when their World Cup winners – Apurvi Chandela and Ayonika Paul came in first and second with scores of 206.7 and 204.9 respectively.
Although it was only a bronze compared to the gold medal she won in 10m air rifle pairs with Nur Ayuni Farhana Abdul Halim at the last Commonwealth Games in India four years ago, the bubbly Suryani was still overjoyed.
This is her first major international medal since giving birth to her daughter Dayana Widyan in 2012.
“This is my first medal in a major tournament after giving birth ... it means a lot,” said Suryani, who was almost in tears.
“The field was tough. I had World Cup and Asian Championships winners for company, but I stayed solid today.
“I struggled during the qualifying round with my yo-yo form but, in the final, I was consistent.
“Hopefully, this first medal in shooting will motivate my team-mates to do better.
“There are still few more events to go,” added Suryani, who will now focus on firing down another medal in the 50m rifle three position.
Malaysia are also in the running for another medal after Bibiana Ng and Alia Sazana Azahari made it to the final of the 25m pistol event.
In the men’s event, Malaysia came agonisingly close to winning a medal through Eddy Chew in the 10m air pistol yesterday.
The 19-year-old Eddy, the youngest participant in his event, was challenging for a bronze against veteran Michael Gault of England but was let down by his inexperience.
He shot a poor 7.6 when it mattered most and was eliminated from the race.
Gault went on to challenge two others – Australian Daniel Repacholi and India’s Prakash Nanjappa – but he too was eliminated.
In the final battle, Repacholi won the gold with a total score of 199.5 points. Nanjappa settled for a silver with 198.2.
Eddy had mixed emotions over his first event in his first Commonwealth Games.
“I came so close ... should have shot a better score. I could have beaten him,” lamented Eddy.
“Overall, it was a good show for us.
“We had two shooters in the final and that was good. My challenge is not over yet. I will be competing in the 50m pistol men tomorrow (July 28).”
The other Malaysian who made it to the top-eight final was Johnathan Wong but he was the second one to be eliminated from the race.
There were no medals in the 25m pistol event although Malaysia had two qualifiers – Bibiana Ng and Alia Sazana Azahari – in the final.
Bibiana was eliminated early but debutant Alia gave rousing performances and went on until the bronze medal playoff before losing 10-9 to Australia’s Lalita Yauhleuskaya in a tie-break after both were tied at 13-13.