PETALING JAYA: Malaysian rifle shooter Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi earned a big boost for herself and for the sport in the country when she won a historic silver medal in the opening ISSF World Cup series in Sydney yesterday.
It was only three months ago when Malaysian shooting found itself in the dumps after failing to win a gold medal in the Laos SEA Games. But Suryani brought the smiles back with a remarkable performance in the 10m air rifle event.
She was tied for eighth spot after the preliminary round on 397 along with American Beyerle Jamie and South Korean Lee Kye-rim after shooting 99-98-99-100.
However, Suryani bounced back with an impressive score of 103.8 in the final to claim the silver on a total of 499.8.
The 2008 Beijing Olympic champion, Katerina Emmons, bagged the gold for Czech Republic on 503.1 and the bronze went to Jamie, who amassed 499.6 after chalking up a 103.6 in the final.
It is the first medal for Malaysia in the World Cup and also a career first for the Perak-born Suryani, who failed in her bid to win a third successive SEA Games gold medal in Vientiane last December.
The National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) secretary, Jasni Shaari, said that it was an uplifting development for Malaysian shooting, especially with the senior shooters gearing up for the New Delhi Commonwealth Games in October.
“Suryani made the final in the South Korea leg last year but missed out on a medal. Today, she proved that she can compete and beat the world’s best shooters,” said Jasni.
“She did it with a good score and it will give her the confidence to try for the gold at the Commonwealth Games.”
Nur Ayuni managed a 396 but narrowly missed out on the top eight final after losing in the shoot-off.