THE Malaysian women's shooting team will have to compete in the opening day's action at the Hanoi Shooting Range today with borrowed weapons.
The team arrived in Hanoi on Thursday without their weapons because the Vietnam Airlines refused to take them due to procedural irregularities.
The team's top shooter, Nurul Hudda Baharin, said that they had no choice but to use borrowed weapons if they wanted to compete today.
“Thailand have verbally agreed to lend us their weapons. We have to find out whether they are suitable for us. If we find them unsuitable, we may withdraw from the events tomorrow,” said the 30-year-old Nurul yesterday.
“This is unbelievable. This is the first time in my nine years as a national shooter that such an incident has happened. We flew in by Vietnam Airlines but unfortunately our weapons were not cleared.”
The National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) secretary, Jasni Shaari, said from Kuala Lumpur that the team would receive their weapons at about noon today.
“The women shooters have no choice but to use borrowed weapons for the competitions tomorrow morning. Three shooting officials will bring all the weapons in and they will arrive at about 12.30pm tomorrow,” said Jasni.
“Our shooters have never travelled on Vietnam Airlines before. We were not aware of the regulation to check in the weapons 24 hours before departure.
“Without their own weapons, it will jeopardise their chances of doing well. But it's hard luck. They will just have to give their best.”
Nurul is down to take part in the 50m sport rifle prone individual and team events today while another medal contender, Bibiana Ng Pei Chin, has been tasked with defending the sport pistol title.
The others in the team are Noriha Abdul Rani, Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi, Siti Sarah Mohd Ibrahim, Nordalilah Abu Bakar, Roslina Abu Bakar, Suefarinawathy Affendi, Sapiah Pilus, Leong Wai Si and Rusnah Ismail.
The men's team also arrived here yesterday without their weapons. But they face no problems. The men's competition only begins tomorrow.
For the record, Malaysia won six gold, eight bronze and seven bronze medals in shooting at the last Games in KL.