KUALA LUMPUR: Pistol shooter Hafiz Adzha had poor outing in the South-East Asian (SEASA) championships in Bangkok last month and he will hard pressed to gun down gold for a second time in the SEA Games.
The Perak shooter in his Games debut in Korat in 2007 won the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol team gold medal together with Hasli Izwan Amir Hassan and Mohd Ridzuan Mohamed. He was the bronze medallist in the individual event.
In the SEASA meet, he was placed fifth in the individual competition and took the team bronze with Hasli and Khalel Abdullah. Hasli, who is the country’s top pistol shooter, finished fourth in the individual event.
The 24-year-old Hafiz said that the pressure would be on him to win a medal in the Laos Games following the disappointing outing in the SEASA meet.
“I went to Bangkok with the confidence to win a medal. But I was left disappointed, failing to chalk up a good score and did not get on the podium,” said Hafiz, who managed 560 in the qualifying rounds.
Hafiz, who has a personal best of 568, added that they also fared badly in the team competition.
“Thailand took the gold ahead of Vietnam and we only managed the bronze with the score of 1,683. So the pressure will be on us to retain the SEA Game team gold in Laos,” he said.
Hafiz added that he had been putting in more effort in training to chalk up a good score in Vientiane.
“Coach Hashim (Desa) has been helping me to get back my confidence back to do well in the SEA Games,” he said.
The 32-year-old Khalel from Malacca is the newest member of the team. He came into the side in June.
Malaysia will compete in 10 out of the 17 disciplines in the Laos Games and a total of 34 gold medals are at stake.
At the last Games, Malaysia won two gold medals with the women’s 50m rifle three-position team emerging as winners as well.