Wednesday, 30 July 2014 | MYT 4:44 PM
Shooters off the mark but Suryani stays optimistic
Nur Suryani Taibi was the sole medal contributor for Malaysia - in the women's 10m air rifle. - Bernama
GLASGOW: They nearly fired blanks and it took a veteran – Nur Suryani Taibi – to save Malaysian shooting the blushes at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Suryani gunned down a bronze in the 10m air rifle event for Malaysia’s only medal at the Games.
She could have made it a more glorious outing for shooting but she could only finish fourth in the 50m rifle three positions.
Despite the one-medal show, Suryani feels that it was still one of Malaysia’s strongest performances in the Games.
“This time, it was not about the quantity but the quality. We may have won only one medal but we had representatives in so many finals,” said Suryani, who featured in two of the nine finals.
“I have never seen a scenario like this since I began representing the country at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 (in Melbourne).”
The 31-year-old Suryani had won a solitary shooting gold for Malaysia with Nur Ayuni Farahana Abdul Halim in the 10m air rifle at the New Delhi Games four years ago.
“It is unfortunate that we did not get a gold here but I’m confident that, if we keep our morale high and continue to work on our game, we will do better at the Asian Games in two months’ time,” said Suryani.
Asked about her shooting career and whether the Asiad (in Incheon, South Korea from Sept 19-Oct 4) would be her swansong, the mother of one child said: “Of course, not. As long as the country has faith in me, and as long as I can contribute, I will shoot for Malaysia.”
Team manager Datuk Musa Omar had mixed feelings about the team’s performance in the Games.
Ayuni should have been one of the medallists but she was distracted when her jacket bag went missing. Although it was found and returned to her on the eve of competition, she was unable to lift her game.
Some of the youngsters, however, did well – like Eddy Chew, 19; Johnathan Wong, 22; and Alia Sazana Azahari, 22.
They managed to make the cut for the finals in their competitive events.
“We were supposed to contribute at least one gold but we failed. At least we managed to get a few debutants in the finals and, for me, that is quite promising,” said Musa.
Some shooters also struggled with the new format introduced in the Games and Musa hopes that they will get used to it by the time the Asiad comes along.
Currently, all local tournaments organised by the National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) are using the old format.
Perhaps it’s time for the officials to change to the new format – so that the national shooters will be mentally prepared for the challenge.