THE senior-junior partnership of Bibiana Ng-Joseline Cheah brought the smiles back to the shooting team when they bagged a silver medal in the women's 10m air pistol pairs competition at the Melbourne International Shooting Club yesterday.
It was the first medal for Malaysia from shooting in the 18th edition of the Games and it certainly lifted the pressure off the squad after ending empty-handed for the past two days.
The 23-year-old Joseline certainly deserved the credit for keeping her composure to bag her first-ever medal in an international competition.
Joseline, making only her second international outing after the Manila SEA Games last December, was a bundle of nerves in the 25m sport pistol pairs competition on Friday. But not this time.
While the more experienced Bibiana chalked up 383, Joseline gave a good account of herself to end four rounds of competition with a 375.
Their total of 758 put them second behind Australians Dina Aspandiyarova and Lalita Yauleuskaya, who scored 770.
England's Georgina Geikie and Julia Lydall took bronze on 750.
The whole team's morale was down after two days of competition, said Joseline.
I just did not want to let the team down again. We were in second position in the 25m sport pistol pairs competition on Thursday but I did not do well in the final round.
I told myself ... that I must do my best. I'm glad that both our scores were good enough to give us a medal.
The Penang-born Joseline, who only made the national team one year ago, also had a point to prove in Melbourne.
The National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) did not consider her in the squad initially as they felt the more experienced Irina Maharani would give Malaysia a better shot at medals.
However, Irina did not compete in the Manila SEA Games and the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) selection committee ruled her out.
Bibiana said that she had no problem combining with a younger shooter.
While the pressure was increasing for any of us to win after having nothing for the past two days, we did not think about it, she said.
We did not even look at the scores of the others because we were concentrating on our own performance. This medal is certainly a boost for the whole team.
With the medal, Bibiana now has four to her collection.
She took silver (25m sport pistol individual) and bronze (25m sport pistol pairs) in the KL Games in 1998. In Manchester, four years ago, she partnered Irina for the silver in the 25m sport pistol pairs.