Sunday, 27 July 2014 | MYT 9:10 PM
Eddy, Alia show good promise as shooting stars
Alia Sazana Azahari finished fourth in the women's 25m pistol. - RAJES PAUL / The Star
GLASGOW: The emergence of young debutants Eddy Chew and Alia Sazana Azahari certainly augurs well for Malaysian shooting.
The youngsters were up against veteran shooters in the bronze medal playoffs of their respective events but exuded such poise, confidence and charisma that were well beyond their tender age.
It doesn’t matter that they lost, but the composed performances clearly show that Malaysian shooting has found two stars for the future.
The 19-year-old Eddy, who is the youngest shooter in the 10m air pistol, lost out to England’s 60-year-old Michael Gault but, boy, did he make the veteran sweat for it.
Eddy congratulated the experienced Gault on his 18th medal in his sixth Commonwealth Games.
“I was sad … I could have beaten him but I’m still proud that I was able to shoot consistently well. I just lack experience,” said Eddy.
“I’m only 19 … my opponent is 41 years older than me!
“He was so determined, even at that age.
“But all in all, it has been a wonderful experience and I will surely come back stronger.”
Malaysia also had 22-year-old Johnathan Wong in the final and it looks like the National Shooting Association of Malaysia’s (NSAM) decision to expose these youngsters is paying dividends.
In the women’s 25m pistol, the bubbly 22-year-old Alia, who was only roped into the national team last year, received a rousing applause after losing in the bronze medal playoff to Lalita Yauhleuskaya of Australia.
She had her opponent by the throat before finally losing by just one shot.
“I did not win a medal but I’m still satisfied with the way the match turned out.
“My opponent is 51 years old and very experienced.
“She has been competing way before I was born. To give her a good fight right until the end is satisfying, indeed,” said Alia.
“I have been in love with shooting since I was a kid. I had lots of toy guns.
“My father even went to the extent of modifying a toy crossbow to make it strong enough for me to hit paper targets.
“This is a good start for me. I have never even competed a big tournament before.
“I want to be better than what I am now and win a gold for Malaysia one day … truly, I am very motivated.”