Friday, October 28, 2011

Shahera eyeing joyful Games and blissful marriage

PETALING JAYA: National athlete Shahera Rahim Raja will tie the knot after the SEA Games in Jakarta but that won’t stop her from giving her all to her first love – shooting.
In fact, the 26-year old Shahera is determined to stay sharp in her mission to win honours for the country – starting with a good showing in the 10m air rifle event in her third SEA Games outing.

Shahera said that this year’s shooting competition, to be held in Palembang from Nov 12-16, would be the most challenging.

For the first time, team events have been dropped. Only individual medals will be contested and a country can only have a maximum entry of two shooters instead of three previously.

“My third SEA Games will demand the best out of me. I have won medals before but they were from team events. This time, there are only individual events and the quality of shooters will be high,” said Shahera.
“I am taking part in the 10m air rifle with Nur Suryani Taibi. We will have to keep an eye on shooters from Singapore and Thailand.

“I will be happy to win a medal. It will be a good pre-wedding gift,” added Shahera, who will solemnise her marriage vows with fellow Penangite and kayak ace Ziahul Asraf on Nov 26.
The sweet-faced Shahera also hopes that a good outing at the Games would put her in the right frame of mind ahead of the qualification for the London Olympic Games.

“The main tournament for us is the Asian Shooting Championships (in Doha next February). It is the last tournament that offers tickets for the Olympic Games. Hopefully, a good showing in SEA Games will give us a timely boost. I hope to gun down good scores in Palembang,” she said.

So far none of the shooters, including those in the Road to London programme – Suryani, Nur Ayuni Farhana Halim, Hasli Izwan Amir Hasan and Hafiz Adzha – have met the qualifying mark for the Olympics.

“The national shooters have been based in Langkawi over the last couple of weeks. We will attend a SEA Games centralised camp in Kuala Lumpur next week with the rest of the Malaysian contingent. We are hoping for a good harvest of medals at the Games in Palembang,” said Shahera.

The others shooters bound for Palembang are Khalel Abdullah, Alais Neek Sulong, Jonathan Wong, Mohd Hadafi Jaafar, Mohd Shahril Sahak, Mohd Zubair Mohammad, Mohd Ezuan Nasir Khan, Hisyam Adzha, Bibiana Ng, Joseline Cheah, Muslifah Zulkifli and Nur Ain Ibrahim.

For the record, Malaysia only won six silver and five bronze medals at the last SEA Games in Laos two years ago.


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