THE shooting team met their target of three gold medals. But they should have done better as they prepare for the bigger challenges in the Asian Championships in February.
Top shooter Nurul Hudda Baharin won two gold medals in the women's 50m sport rifle three-position team and individual events. The others in the team were Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi and Nordalilah Abu Bakar.
Thanks to veteran skeet shooter Ricky Teh, the team finished with three gold medals. Ricky won the individual event in a Games record on the last day of competition.
The skeet was not one of the gold medals targeted by the National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM).
Those who won gold medals can look forward to competing in the Asian meet, which is the last qualifying event for next year's Athens Olympic.
And those who were a disappointment in Hanoi will have to make amends.
The men, especially Mohd Emran Zakaria, Hameleay Abdul Mutalib and Hasli Izwan Amir Hassan, failed to match their opponents in the Vietnam Games.
There was a chance for an early gold but it was dashed because the women's team were without their weapons on the opening day's action. The NSAM had run into problems freighting the equipment on Vietnam Airlines.
The team managed to borrow two rifles from the Vietnam for the event but Bibiana Ng Pei Chin was forced to surrender the 25m sport pistol because she could not get a gun.
Team manager Ishak Hashim said: “It was a harrowing time for the team in the first few days when the weapons were not here. Despite the setback, I am glad we won three gold medals. I am relieved.
“Some of them improved their personal scores and there were new national and Games records. The Asian meet is the more important event and I hope some of them will get to become Olympians.”
On Roslina Abu Bakar's position for the Asian Championships, Ishak said: “Shooters for the meet will be selected based on their performances in the SEA Games. Roslina did not compete and we will have to decide on her position.”
Besides the three gold medals, Malaysia won two silver medals through Nur Suryani (25m centre fire pistol individual); Nurul, Nur Suryani and Noriha Abdul Rani (10m air rifle team).
They also had three bronze medals through Emran, Hamealeay and Mohd Anai (50m rifle three position team); Nur Suryani (10m air rifle individual) and Richard Cheong (men's skeet individual).