PETALING JAYA: Shooters who have beaten the qualifying mark for the SEA Games cannot count themselves as certainties to make the trip to Vietnam in December.
The National Shooting Association of Malaysias (NSAM) executive secretary, Jasni Shaari, said that only the best three, who have beaten the mark in an event, would be in the team.
In one event, the womens individual 10m air pistol, 13 shooters have beaten the qualifying mark, said Jasni.
This is a good indication o the tremendous improvement our shooters have made in the event. But only the best three will be in the team for the Games. They will be picked based on their form and how many times they have beaten the qualifying mark.
In the womens air pistol event, only Manchester Commonwealth Games silver medallist Bibiana Ng Pei Chin is a firm favourite for a place in the team. She has beaten the qualifying mark of 369 seven times four last year and three this year.
The others who have beaten the mark are Sapiah Pilus, Siti Sarah Mohd Ibrahim, Leong Wai Si, Suefarina Wathy, Irina Maharani, Choong Chin Ye, Norsita Mahmud, Haslinda Noson, Noor Asmah Ishak, Suzana Mohamed, Siti Nur Masitah and Norzaini Ismail.
Jasni added that he was impressed with the performance of the lesser known shooters, Sapiah and Siti Sarah, who beat the qualifying mark six and five times respectively since last year.
They have proved that they are as good as the national shooters. They have a good chance to be picked.
It is good to have keen competition among the shooters in each event because they have to do well in every competition to win a place, said Jasni.
With the postponement of international meets, among them the Asian championships in August here because of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) threat, Jasni has advised all shooters who have beaten the qualifying mark to compete in the local meets.
The upcoming local meets are the Tun Tan Siew Sin trophy in Sabah next month; the Tun Haniff Cup in Penang in July; and the national championships in Subang in August.
Jasni added that they would finalise their SEA Games squad after the national meet.
Our shooters have beaten the qualifying marks in many events. But none has done so in the mens 50m air pistol and 25m standard pistol and the womens trap and skeet events.