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The number of shooters who will get to compete in championships overseas is expected to drop significantly this year with the National Sports Council's (NSC) decision to tighten their purse strings.
Shooter Irina Maharani, who took silver in the Manchester Commonwealth Games last year, has turned to coaching.
Young shooters Mashita Ramli, Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi and Mohd Hameleay Abdul Mutalib have been rewarded with places in the 2006 programme squad for their impressive performances in competitions over the past six months.
For the Malaysian shooters, the road to the Athens Olympics next year could not come any closer than home.
Selangor's Ivan Jayavenkatesh Rao not only outclassed the bigger names to win the gold medal in the men's individual free rifle prone event on the second day of the Tan Sri Datuk S. M. Yong trophy at the Subang Shooting Range #8211; he also qualified for the Vietnam SEA Games.
The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome has claimed yet another victim in sports. The 10th Asian Shooting championships, scheduled to be held at the Subang Shooting Range from Aug 3-13, has been postponed to next year.
Shooters who have beaten the qualifying mark for the SEA Games cannot count themselves as certainties to make the trip to Vietnam in December.
Junior shooter Leong Jia Chyuan outdid the seniors in the National Shooting Championships but there was little joy for the Selangor shooter. He will still not be considered for the Vietnam SEA Games in December.
National shooter Roslina Bakar proved that training without a coach was not a problem when she came alive with stronger performances on the final day of the national championships to bag two gold medals for Pahang at the Subang Range.
Manchester Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and veteran Mohd Sabki Mohd Din has been dropped to allow youngster Azlan Johari to represent Malaysia in the air rifle shooting event in the Vietnam SEA Games in December.