Johnathan helps NSAM hit the bullseye


The final 50m air pistol men gold medalist, Johnathan Wong Guanjie reacts after winning at the 41st South East Asia Shoooting championship at National shooting range in Subang. AZMAN GHANI / The Star

THE National Shooting Associa­tion of Malaysia (NSAM) had set their athletes a four-gold target for the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

After five days of competition, they only had three golds – from Alia Sazana Azahari (wo­­men’s 25m pistol), Benjamin Khor (men’s double trap) and Muhd Ezuan Nasir Khan (men’s 50m rifle prone).

Then, up stepped Johnathan Wong Guanjie (pic), who confidently delivered the fourth gold – also his first individual gold at the Games – in the men’s 10m air pistol.

It wasn’t an easy feat as the 25-year-old Melakan was up against a world-class field that included Rio Olympic gold medallist Hoang Xuan Vinh of Vietnam.

That was the second time in as many days that Johnathan got the better of Xuan Vinh, having claimed the silver in the 50m pistol while the Vietnamese finished empty-handed.

“My dream is to win at the Olym­pics. I hope to qualify and do much better at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“My immediate goal is to do well at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games next year,” said Johna­than.

The overall 4-5-3 haul for Malay­­sia is certainly not bad as they only managed 2-8-6 at Singapore in 2015.

While Alia and Ezuan lived up to expectations, 14-year-old debutant Abraham Eng highlighted Malay­sia’s potential for the future with a silver behind Benjamin in the double trap.

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