BUKIT JALIL: There has been nothing but brickbats since the national shooters flopped and failed to win a single gold at the Philippines SEA Games but one man still dares to believe.
National shooting coach Mohd Yusri Jusof admits that the shooters deserved the criticism after their spectacular failure but said it was now time to start rebuilding the confidence of our athletes.
“We acknowledged our mistakes during a post-mortem meeting last week, and I hope that we work on correcting them this year so we come back better and stronger.
“I know we all had a tough time, but it is time we moved forward. People say we failed, but I saw some fighting performances.
“There is no need to hit the panic button. We will take it one step at a time and ensure we achieve some success in the future.”
Malaysia took home two silver medals and three bronzes in the SEA Games, failing to hit the target of at least two golds set by the National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) and the National Sports Council (NSC).
Also, none of the shooters qualified on merit for the Tokyo Olympics this year. The NSAM have applied for a wild card entry, and are still waiting for an answer from the organisers.
“The failure to qualify for the Olympics was devastating as this is the first time we are missing out since 1984. So, what we are doing now is deciding on a new team for the next Olympics, but nothing is finalised yet.
“As for the wild card, we hope it can be approved. We were made to understand that an answer would only come after the European Qualification Championship in Plzen, Czech Republic.”
To prepare for the new year, Yusri and head coach Park Sang-soon have drafted a schedule for his shooters, but the final decision will only be made next month.
“Six local competitions are happening in Subang Jaya, Selangor, and there are also international competitions in our list.
Among the competitions listed as overseas meets are the International Shooting Grand Prix 2020 in Kuwait, Qatar Open 2020 and the ISSF World Cups in India, Germany and Azerbaijan. Yusri said he still had faith in the ability of the current shooters, although standards of other shooters in the South-East Asian region have improved.
“These shooters have fighting spirit. We told the NSC what we need but we just hope things will only get better from now on.”
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