Wong has 17-year pistol record in his crosshairs

PETALING JAYA: National shooter Johnathan Wong has set a few targets to gun down next year.

The 21-year-old is eager to make his mark on the international stage and there are plenty of opportunities for him to do so with the staging of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (July 23-Aug 3), ISSF World Championships in Granada, Spain (Sept 6th-20th), Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea (Sept 19-Oct 4) and World University Shooting Championships in Al Ain, the United Arab Emirates (Oct 8th-12th).

Top of the Malacca-born pistol shooter’s priority is breaking the 17-year-old national 10m air pistol record of 580 set by Mohd Hashim Desa, who is now his coach.

Johnathan’s personal best is 579 which he achieved at the 37th South-East Asia Shooting Championships (SEASA) last month.

“The record is something that I’ve aspired to achieve for a while. And right now, I’m just one point away so it’s definitely within my reach. It will be nice to be able to make it my own,” said Johnathan.

Johnathan got off to a bright start this year, bagging the gold in both the 10m air and 50m pistol events at the Selangor Shooting Championships in February. He then followed up with a bronze in the 10m air pistol at the NSAM President Ally T.H. Ong Trophy in March, before gunning down two silvers (10m air and 50m pistol) at the Chia Woh Trophy in September.

He also clinched the gold in the 10m air pistol and 50m pistol events at the National Shooting Championships in October and then went on to take the silver in the 50m air pistol at the SEASA the following month. He ended his season with a bronze in the 50m pistol at the recent Myanmar SEA Games.

“I think it’s just an OK year for me. I wouldn’t say I’m happy with how it’s gone ... I know for a fact that there’s a lot more room for improvement and that’s what I’ll be working on next year. I hope to get a better set of results and achievements,” said Johnathan, a first year aerospace engineering student at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

“I’d love to medal at the Commonwealth and Asian Games.There is also the World Championships and World University Championships to look forward to. I have the first half of the year to really get prepared. Hopefully, I can go one step higher and make my mark at international level,” he added.

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