Friday, December 11, 2009

So close, yet so far for Nur Ayuni

IF only Nur Ayuni Farhana Abdul Halim had shot a 95 in her fourth series of the women's 10-metre air rifle preliminary round, Malaysia would have won their first gold medal in the Sea Games.

But on a day when Nur Ayuni's teammates needed her to post at least a 95, she shot her lowest preliminary round with a 94 and the gold medal was lost.

Nur Ayuni and teammates Shahera Rahim Raja and Nur Suryani Taibi garnered 1,167 points to finish equal with Thailand's Chotphibunsin Thanyalak, Khongnil Sirijit and Hongpraset Sasithorn but the Thais were awarded the gold on countback. Singapore's Goh Jia Yi, Haw Siew Peng and Aqilah Sudhir took the bronze with a 1,167 total.

The placings of countries who finish level on points in a shooting competition are decided on countback of the number of bullseye.

Malaysa were the defending champions in this event.

National Shooting Association of Malaysia secretary Jasni Shaari said Nur Ayuni had never shot a lowly 94 since joining the national team.

Nur Ayuni was one point shy from winning gold in the team 10m air rifle event.
Nur Ayuni was one point shy from winning gold in the team 10m air rifle event.

"I don't know what happened. Probably the trio were over confident after the Thais had conceded defeat a day before competition in practice," said Jasni at the National Sports Complex shooting range in Vientiane yesterday.

In Wednesday's official practice, Nur Suryani, Shahera and Nur Ayuni were scoring not less than 99 and Thailand's rifle shooters had congratulated the Malaysian team and conceded defeat.

"I think it was both overconfidence and pressure. Athletes normally don't perform when these two elements come together," said Jasni, also a former national shooter.

Nur Ayuni quickly apologised to her teammates after the blunder in her fourth series score. Shahera scored the highest points -- 390, followed by Nur Ayuni (389) and Shahera (388).

"I am sorry. I was feeling unwell over the past few days and I felt weak today (yesterday). However, I should have done better in the team event," said the 19-year-old.

However, the debutante compensated by winning the individual bronze medal.

The Kuantan-born shooter posted 102.9 in the final round for a total of 491.9 points.

Singapore's Goh Jia Yi took the gold after winning a shootout with Thailand's Thanyalak, as both posted identical 496.2 scores. NST

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