PETALING JAYA: The pressure is on mother-to-be Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi to live up to her billing as the top woman rifle shooter if she is to see action at the London Olympics in July.
The 28-year-old Suryani, who is now into her fourth month of pregnancy, will compete in the ISSF World Cup leg in London from April 17-24 along with fellow women rifle shooters Nur Ayuni Farhana Halim and Muslifah Zulkifli.
It is the first time London will host a World Cup leg and the week-long competition for rifle, pistol and shotgun disciplines at the Royal Artillery Barracks will double up as the Olympic test event.
The Olympic shooting competition was originally planned for the National Shooting Centre in Bisley but was changed after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expressed concerns about the distance between London and Bisley.
Suryani earned the Olympic quota spot for the country in the women’s 10m air rifle at the Asian Shooting Championships in Doha in January but it was later revealed that she was already pregnant with her first child.
Ayuni and Muslifah were later identified as the back-up choices in case Suryani is unable to compete in the Olympics.
However, Suryani is not relinquishing her dream and is determined to see action at the Olympics as she earned the quota in the first place.
National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) assistant secretary Musli Mustakim said they are only sending the three women rifle shooters as the Olympic qualification process has already finished.
”We are sending Ayuni and Muslifah as they are the ones we will be looking at if Suryani cannot make it to the Olympics,” Musli said.
”Suryani is still the best rifle shooter we have in the country but she is now pregnant and we will monitor her form and whether she can sustain it over the remaining months.
“The trio will compete in the 10m air rifle and 50m rifle three-position. We will take their performances into account if we come to a stage where we have to decide.”
The opportunity to check out the Olympic venue is also too good an experience to miss for trap shooters Bernard Yeoh, Charles Chen and Nazree Ismail.
The trio, who did not make the cut at the Asian meet, are paying their own way to compete in the World Cup leg.
Charles and Nazree will fly to London to hook up with Bernard, who took part at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and who operates a restaurant in the English capital.