A PROMISE made to her late grandmother saw a steely Nur Ayuni Farhana Abdul Halim making a strong comeback to win a silver and a bronze to give Malaysia a promising start in the shooting competition at the National Sports Complex yesterday.
The 19-year-old Ayuni took the 10m air rifle team silver with two seasoned campaigners – Shahera Rahim Raja and Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi. And she made a remarkable comeback in the individual final to finish third.
Ayuni, who did better than her seniors, was emotional after winning the medals.
“It was unfortunate that my grandmother was unable to see these medals. I promised her I would do well before she passed away two weeks ago,” said Ayuni, wiping away her tears.
“But all the hard work has paid off. I will always treasure these medals from my first SEA Games.
“This is a good start for me and I am certainly inspired to win more honours for the country in the future.”
Ayuni rued that Lady Luck was not on Malaysia’s side in the team event.
It was a close affair, with Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore tied on first spot with 1,167 points.
But, on countback, Thailand took the gold for having better precision in the inner 10th circle. The Thais had 72 followed by Malaysia (63) and Singapore (62).
“I was quite nervous in the beginning and took time to adjust. It affected my rhythm and I managed only 389. It was one of my lowest scores this year,” said Ayuni, who shot 397 en route to winning the gold in the national championships two weeks ago.
“But I was so determined to get my act right in the individual event. And I am satisfied with my overall performance.”
She qualified for the individual final in seventh place together with Shahera, who was fourth.
Her final score of 491.30 move her up four rungs to take home the bronze. The event was won by Singapore’s Goh Jia Yi ahead of Thailand’s Chotphibunsin Thanyalak.
Ayuni’s younger brother, Mohd Nurrahim, chalked up a creditable result in his Games debut.
The 16-year-old qualified for the final of the 10m air rifle event and finished sixth on 99.60.
Malaysia also did not get among the medals in the men’s 25m standard pistol event. The three-member team of Hasli Izwan Amir Hasan, Khalel Abdullah and Hafiz Adzha finished fifth on 1,626.
Said Hasli: “There was a chance for me to be the first Malaysian to deliver a medal in these Games but I did not achieve it. Anyway, this is not my pet event and I will be ready to defend my title in the 25m rapid fire (on Dec 16).”
Today, Malaysia will be hoping for medals from women pistol shooters Bibiana Ng and Joseline Cheah. They will also be looking at Nur Suryani making a quick rebound in the 50m rifle prone. STAR