KUALA LUMPUR: Mohd Hasli Amir Hasan yesterday became the first shooter to book a place in the Commonwealth Games when he clinched the 25m centre fire pistol gold medal in the Selangor Shooting Championships at the Subang Shooting Range.
His impressive score of 578 was good enough for him to nail down a place for the Games in New Delhi in October.
The National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) have set the fifth placing of the previous Games in Manchester as the benchmark for the shooters.
But Hasli has gone one better – equalling to the bronze medallist of the same event at Manchester – to make the cut.
Hasli is glad with his good start, having endured the disappointment of not winning a gold medal at the Laos SEA Games in December.
“We are still in the early stages of training this season and I was able to raise my game. It feels good to be assured of a place for the Commonwealth Games,” said Hasli.
“If only I had been in the same form at the Laos SEA Games.”
Now that he has got the ticket, Hasli aims to go one step better at the Commonwealth Games.
“I won a bronze medal in Manchester. Now, I intend to win either a silver or a gold. To do that, I will work closely with my coach (Hashim Desa) and add more quality in training,” said the bubbly Hasli.
“This is also an important year for me as far as the qualification for the Olympic Games is concerned.
“The World Championships in August offers ticket to the London Games in 2012. I want to make sure I win a place. The top three shooters in an event are confirmed of their places.”
Hasli will be out to win two more gold medals in the rapid fire and standard pistol events in the Selangor meet in the next two days.
Meanwhile, seasoned campaigner Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi also did well to make up for her disappointment in Laos when she took the gold medal in the 50m rifle three position with a total score of 673.5 points yesterday.