SUBANG: Not even a system malfunction could stop Nik Nur Nabila Syahidah Nik Kor from upstaging several SEA Games stars at the National Shooting Championships.
The 19-year-old national back-up pistol shooter amassed 234.9 points in the women’s 10m air pistol to clinch her first gold medal in a senior tournament at the Subang Shooting Range yesterday.
Her two more illustrious seniors and both SEA Games-bound – Bibiana Ng (232.4pts) and Joseline Ng (209.9) – were second and third.
Nabila, who was only promoted to the back-up squad in February, admitted that the faulty system made every shooter uneasy but is happy with her strong finish.
“One of the machines did not work and that caused our final to be postponed. There was a long wait but I’m glad it ended well for me,” said the Pahang lass, who finished second to Joseline at the President Ally T.H. Ong Trophy in April.
“This win, my first against the seniors, is a confidence-booster. Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to compete in the SEA Games,” added Nabila, who trains under coach Hashim Desa.
Bibiana and Joseline, who are gearing up for the Games from Aug 19-30, took the results in their strides.
Said Joseline: “It was my bay that was affected. I was moved from one place to another before the final was eventually re-scheduled. I was distracted.
“There’s always something to learn from experiences like this. Hopefully, I’ll be more prepared and focused at the SEA Games.”
Even the 40-year-old Bibiana, who will be competing in her ninth Games, agreed, saying: “We learn from every tournament. This episode here showed that the unexpected can happen and we must be on our toes at all times.”
National Association of Malaysia (NSAM) competition director Datuk Musa Omar was happy that they handled the situation well.
The national meet also serves as a test run for the KL Games.
“Today, we had to look for other options when the screen and target malfunctioned.
“We had the manual system up and ready. Luckily, we didn’t have to use it after we rectified the problems,” he said.