Ayuni set to replace Nur Suryani at London Olympics

PETALING JAYA: Fate may just have delivered young shooter Nur Ayuni Farhana Halim a dream shot at the London Olympics.

Nur Ayuni is the likely replacement for ace rifle shooter Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi, who will, in all probability, have to skip the Olympics as she is pregnant with her first child.

The only Malaysian shooter to qualify for the Games on merit, Nur Suryani will be in her third trimester when the Games roll by and in no position to compete. She had also earned the right to shoot in the 50m rifle three-position at the Olympics.

Nur Suryani found out about her pregnancy during the Asian Shooting Championships in Doha in January where she secured the quota spot for the women’s 10m air rifle.

Either Nur Ayuni or Muslifah Zulkifli will be the replacement and their names were given to the National Sports Council (NSC) during the recent joint-working committee meeting with the National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM).

It is understood that NSC are not in favour of Nur Suryani competing in London as she would be in an advanced state of pregnancy and it could prove risky.

The better bet would be Nur Ayuni, who partnered Nur Suryani to the gold in the women’s air rifle pairs event at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

She has also won silver and bronze in the air rifle at SEA Games level and was the first Malaysian to win a gold medal in an international junior shooting meet in Germany n 2009.

Muslifah set a national record for the 10m air rifle with 399 points when she first burst onto the scene back in 2004 but has been plagued by inconsistency ever since. NSAM assistant secretary Musli Mustakim said it was premature to name a replacement for Nur Suryani at this point.

“Nur Suryani is still our best woman rifle shooter and she proved it by securing the quota slot for the country,” said Musli.

“We have the right to enter another name but Suryani has indicated that she is still able to shoot at the moment.

“We have to finalise the entries to the Olympic Council of Malaysia by June. We will make a decision then.”

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