Malaysia has had a sputtering start in the shooting competition as youngsters born after the year 2000 took charge.
Even though 45-year-old Jantan Hintu got the ball rolling by winning a bronze in the pistol precision on Monday, rifle shooters Mohd Ezuan Nasir Khan, Mohd Lutfi Othman, Shahera Raja Rahim and Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi have failed to bring any joy.
In yesterday’s 10m air rifle women’s competition, Nur Suryani, 37, was the only Malaysian to qualify for the final. Still, she faltered in that stage when she finished last out of eight competitors.
The mother of two was eliminated in the second stage of the final when she only scored 120.9 points.
Shahera faltered in the qualifying stages, finishing 11th with 610.9 points. Nur Suryani was seventh in the qualifiers with 617.6 points.
Indonesia’s Rafika Toyyiba won the gold for the event as she scored 249.9, while Singaporeans Ho Xiu Yi (248.2) and Adele Tan Qian Xiu (227.3) won silver and bronze respectively.
Team manager Datuk Musa Omar said it was a concern that the rifle shooters did not win any medals, but hopes the others would bring some cheer in the Marine Corps Training Centre in Manila.
He noted that young and emerging shooters from the region have improved tremendously throughout the years, while our level has stagnated.
“Rafika is 18, Ho is 19 and Adele is 20.
“All are young, and will only get better.
“These shooters are putting lots of pressure on experienced shooters like Suryani and Shahera,” he said.
“This shows that Indonesia and Singapore have an excellent junior programme, which we do not have. Our young shooters are not close to their calibre yet.
“Right now, we hope the other shooters will bring back some cheer, but as the team manager, I want to go back and have a discussion with the National Sports Council (NSC) and National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) on continuity.”
Musa said that in Singapore, secondary school students were taking up shooting, especially air pistol and air rifle.
Even Indonesia is beginning to pump in lots of money into its junior shooting development programme.
“In Malaysia, we only start during Sukma. After 21, they have nowhere else to go. They cannot represent the schools.
“I think we need to begin developing shooters from secondary school.”
Today, three shooters Azeera Abd Halim, Yusliana Mohd Yusof and Salzuriana Zubir will be taking part in the women’s 1500 Precision Pistol Competition (PPC) event.
Musa admitted that if conditions are torrential due to the Typhoon Tisoy, the event may be postponed.
“If it’s drizzling, it will go on. I was told that it would rain today. We had some strong winds coming in yesterday.
“I am hoping conditions will be better tomorrow.”
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