Joseline lock-on gold target in Glasgow

PETALING JAYA: Pistol shooter Joseline Cheah has her eyes set on nothing but the gold in her third Commonwealth Games appearance in Glasgow next week.

Joseline will compete in only the 10m air pistol despite also qualifying for the 25m sport pistol.

And she’s a good bet for gold if she can conjure the same form that earned her the national record (388) and silver medal at the ISSF World Cup in Munich last year. 

“My mission is to win the gold. I’ll do my best. Period,” said Joseline, who partnered Bibiana Ng to clinch Malaysia’s solitary shooting medal – a silver – in the 10m air pistol pairs in her debut at the 2006 Melbourne Games. 

The 31-year-old Joseline encountered some problems with her pistol grip early in the year and stumbled to a sixth-place finish in the 10m air pistol at the Selangor Shooting Championships in January.

But she recovered from the setback to make the final of the 10m air pistol at the Asian Championships in Kuwait in March and then bagged the gold at the Tun Tan Siew Sin Trophy in February and Tun Hanif Trophy in April. 

In March, she bagged the silver at the NSAM President Ally T.H. Ong Trophy.

In the fourth leg of the ISSF World Cup in Beijing this month, Joseline was placed 16th for her season’s best performance in the prestigious championship.

“I lost my touch for a few competitions due to some technical issues with my pistol. But everything is shipshape now. I got my pistol upgraded,” said Joseline. 

When asked if it was too risky to change equipment so close to the Games, the Penang-born shooter quipped: “The pistol and I are one. Only the grip is different. All it takes is a good gunsmith, good sense of mind and time. The pistol’s back and I’m back ... so this time there is just one thing to do, get into the final and grab the gold.”

In New Delhi in 2010, Malaysia won two golds, three silvers and three bronzes for their best-ever performance in the Games. Bibiana (10m air pistol) and Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi-Nur Ayuni Farhana Abdul Halim (women’s 10m air rifle pairs) contributed the two golds.

The shooting events, however, have been slashed from 44 in New Delhi to just 19 in Glasgow.
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