National rifle shooter Mohd Ezuan Nasir Khan made the team for the Asian Games in Incheon next month. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: National rifle shooter Mohd Ezuan Nasir Khan was jumping for joy but it was heartbreak for some when the shooting team for the Asian Games was announced on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Ezuan, who was dropped from the national team in 2012 for poor form last year, sealed his spot for the Asiad in Incheon from Sept 19-Oct 4.
He won the selectors’ vote after qualifying for two finals at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Shooting had come under fire after winning just one medal – a bronze – through Nur Suryani Taibi in the women’s 10m air rifle in Glasgow and the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) decided to trim the squad to only eight shooters.
Besides Ezuan, the others that got the nod are Suryani, Nur Ayuni Farahana Abdul Halim, Muslifah Zulkifli, Alia Sazana Azahari, Mohd Hadafi Jaafar, Eddy Chew and Johnathan Wong.
It is a big breakthrough for pistol shooters Alia, Eddy and Johnathan as they are from the back-up squad.
Seniors Hasli Izwan Amir Hasan, Mohd Khalel Abdullah, Joseline Cheah and Bibiana Ng however, paid a heavy price for their below par performances when they were axed.
The small-sized Ezuan, who trains under coach Saidou Israel, was delighted that he would be making his first trip to the Asiad.
“Hard work surely pays off. I did well in my first Commonwealth Games and now I get a chance to compete in my first Asiad. It has been a good year for me,” said Ezuan.
“I was not given a ghost of a chance in Glasgow but I managed to reach two finals. I hope this is the beginning of better things to come.”
“I learnt so much in Glasgow. The field however, will be tougher at the Asian Games with world-class shooters from China, South Korea and India,” he said.
“In order to win a medal, I need to step up my training and start breaking my personal best.”