PETALING JAYA: The best-ever results in the South-East Asian (Seasa) Championships have not clouded the National Shooting Association of Malaysia’s (NSAM) vision of a realistic target in the Korat SEA Games in December.
At the just concluded Seasa meet, Malaysia had a haul of 8-6-8. But the NSAM executive secretary, Jasni Shaari, said that they had set a modest target of winning four gold medals in the SEA Games because not all their rivals were represented by top shooters in the seven-day championships in Subang.
“Vietnam were the only ones to send their top shooters while Thailand only had a handful of them. Winning the eight gold medals does not reflect the real strength of our shooters,” he said.
Jasni said that they would be happy if the team could perform better than they did in the 2005 Manila Games.
“We won three gold medals in Manila and we have told the OCM (Olympic Council of Malaysia) that we are confident of doing much better in Thailand,” he said.
Jasni added that they would be banking on the women’s air rifle shooters, men’s skeet team and the country’s top pistol shooter Hasli Izwan Amir Hassan to deliver gold medals in Korat.
Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi was the toast for Malaysia in the Seasa meet, winning four gold medals in individual and team events of the 50m rifle prone and 50m rifle three position competitions.
Nur Suryani also beat Thailand’s Beijing Olympics qualifier Chotphidonsim Thanyalak to win the gold in the three position event. And she is expected to defend her title in the rifle prone event.
The men’s double trap team scored a first for Malaysia in competitions in the region with Edward Khor taking gold in the individual event.
Jasni said that although Hasli Izwan failed to retain his title in the rapid fire pistol event, they were still confident that he would successfully defend his SEA Games title.
“I am happy that shooters like Bernard Yeoh (trap), Ricky Teh (skeet) and Edward (double trap) have qualified on merit for the SEA Games and hope more will make the grade in the local competitions,” said Jasni.