PETALING JAYA: The return of Mohd Hameleay Abdul Mutalib to international competition after three years is a boost to Malaysian shooting.
And the National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) are looking at the chances to win medals at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October with more confidence.
The 29-year-old Hameleay, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) based in Alor Setar, will get an early chance to show his ability at the Commonwealth Championships, which will be held in New Delhi next month.
The NSAM secretary, Jasni Shaari, said that Hameleay’s return would strengthen the men’s rifle team, who at the SEA Games in Laos last month failed to live up to expectations.
Hameleay last saw international action in the 2007 Korat SEA Games after which he devoted his time to his crime-busting job and occasionally took part in local championships.
“He will train in Alor Setar and take part in our local and international meets. He is experienced enough to stand on his own and we will monitor his progress from here,” said Jasni. “We want Hameleay to represent the country in the Commonwealth Games. He will be primed to win medals for us.”
Hameleay made his Commonwealth Games debut in Manchester in 2002 and won a silver medal in the team air rifle event. But at the 2006 edition in Melbourne, he returned home empty-handed.
Jasni added that the NSAM would be stringent in their selection of shooters for international championships this year.
This was decided after a joint committee meeting between the NSAM and National Sports Council (NSC) on Friday following the team’s failure to win a gold medal in the SEA Games in Vientiane.
“Only those with the potential to win medals in the Commonwealth Games and those with the standard to challenge their opponents in the Asiad (in Guangzhou in November) will get to compete in international meets this year,” said Jasni.
“In previous years, we used to send an accompanying back-up team as part of their development stint. We will do away with this practice.”
Currently, the men in the elite squad are pistol shooters Hasli Izwan Amir Hassan and Hafiz Adzha. The women in the team are rifle shooters Shahera Rahim Raja, Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi and Muslifah Zulkifli.
The first meet of the year for the team is the Selangor Open from Feb 4-7 at Subang Range followed by the Commonwealth championships.