PETALING JAYA: Shooter Muhd Ezuan Nasir Khan aims to justify his ranking as the national No. 1 men’s rifle shooter at next week’s Tun Haniff Trophy championships in a bid to get a place in the Kita Juara programme.
The 2014 Incheon Asian Games silver medallist is one of the country’s top four shooters who were dropped from the Podium Programme for the lack of results last month.
The others were top women rifle shooters Nur Suryani Taibi, Muslifah Zulkifli and Nur Ayuni Farhana Abdul Halim.
All four will compete in the Tun Haniff meet at the Subang Shooting Range on Thursday.
“I was in India for the World Cup last month when I learned that I had been dropped from the Podium Programme. It was a surprise as I was not officially notified ... but I’ve accepted it,” said Ezuan.
“There’s no point asking questions about the omission. It’s time to just prove myself again.
“I’ll have to live up to my top billing at the Tun Haniff Trophy to get into Kita Juara. Then, I’ll prepare hard to win a gold medal at the SEA Games. That’s my focus right now.”
On Thursday, the National Sports Council (NSC) and National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) joint working committee decided to give the Podium dropouts a quick chance to make amends.
NSC athletes’ division director Jefri Ngadin said that the top two shooters in every event at the Tun Haniff Trophy would be nominated for the Kita Juara programme.
“We already have a ranking list, but we’d rather wait until after the tournament to give others, including state shooters, a chance to fight for a place in the Kita Juara programme,” said Jefri.
“Right now, Ezuan is ranked No. 1 in one event, Suryani is No. 1 in three events and Ayuni is in second spot in two events.
“Muslifah is third in one event ... she needs to prove herself.”
Ezuan, Suryani, Ayuni and Muslifah have been regular medal contributors in previous SEA Games editions.
Jefri said that the final list, in consultation with NSAM, would be submitted to the Olympic Council of Malaysia’s (OCM) SEA Games selection committee at the end of the month.