PETALING JAYA: National shooter Mohd Lutfi Othman dropped a bombshell by calling it quits at the age of 26.
He has decided to holster his rifle and concentrate on his new job as a sports officer at the National Sports Council (NSC) in Bukit Jalil.
Lutfi, who started work a week ago, shocked the National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) and his coaches with his decision but said it was time for him to move on.
“Coaches (Yusri Jusoh and Park Sang-hoon) were shocked, but they have accepted my decision with an open mind. I am not the only rifle shooter in the team.
“ There are many young and upcoming talents in the country, ” said the former Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) student.
“I have no regrets over my decision. There are young talents who are better than me. I know I can give more but looking at the other young rifle shooters, I think they will be assets to the nation.”
Lutfi was on fire in the South East Asia Shooting (Seasa) Championships in Jakarta last year when he won two gold medals (individual and team 50m rifle prone), a silver (10m air rifle team event) and a bronze (50m three-position rifle team event).
However, failure to win a medal in the Philippines SEA Games last year saw him being demoted to a part-time shooter in the national team.
Before the movement control order was imposed in March this year, he was imperious in the President Ally T.H. Ong Trophy meet at the National Subang Shooting Range.
He won the men’s individual and team rifle 50m three-position and was on the brink of winning his third gold in the rifle 50m prone when the meet was cut short due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
He had represented the national team since the 2013 SEA Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, but has not won any medals in the four SEA Games he took part in.
“If I were to describe my career, it is not satisfying because I have not competed in the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games but it has been an honour to represent my country.”
When asked if he had any special victories to cherish, Lutfi said: “For me, every gold that I have won is memorable. Maybe, it would have been great to have won a gold medal in the SEA Games.
“I was able to represent the nation and also complete my degree in Communications. I see the positives in whatever I do. Now, it is a new dawn for me.
“Every day is a learning process, and I hope to be good in my job as I believe I am contributing to the nation’s sports development.”
And his advice to budding shooters is: “Just be single-minded in what you do. Train hard, listen to your coaches and do what is best for yourself and the team.”
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