Monday, November 14, 2011

Nur Suryani shoots down first gold despite stomach upset

PALEMBANG: Shooter Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi gunned down Malay-sia’s first gold medal of the SEA Games in between quick trips to the toilet yesterday.

Suryani, like many other athletes struggling to come to terms with the food here, was suffering from an upset stomach.

But she overcame the discomfort to snatch the gold medal with a 679.8 total in the women’s 50m rifle three-position event, ahead of Thai shooter Sunuunta Majcha-cheep at the Jakabaring Shooting Range.

Top gun: Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi acknowledging the applause after winning the first gold medal for Malaysia in the 50m rifle three-position final in Palembang.
The Thai gave Suryani a fight before settling for silver with 676.3 points.
Malaysia’s Nur Ayuni Farhana came close to overtaking the Thai as she narrowed the deficit to 0.1 point with just one round to go. However, she faltered with a 9.5, against the Thai’s 10.3, to settle for bronze with 675.4 points.

Suryani, who got married five months ago, had earlier taken a comfortable lead going into the final, having accumulated 582 points to lead her Thai rival by five.

The gold was then Suryani’s to lose as she retained the same margin with two more attempts to go as the eight finalists shot 10 rounds each.

The 29-year-old Suryani was calm and composed as cries of Malaysia Boleh were heard over in the Malaysian camp.

But surprise was written all over her face when told that hers was the nation’s first gold of the Games.
“Really? Wow, it’s my luckiest day. I wasn’t thinking about winning as I was just trying to do my best, hoping that everything would fall into place,” she said.

“My strategy was to put up a good score to get into the final and then take it from there.
“Everything turned out well and I’m happy to get a gold after missing out in Laos two years ago. It’s also a good belated wedding present,” added Suryani, whose glittering performance ends a four-year gold drought for Malaysia in shooting.

Malaysia only managed six silver and five bronze medals in Laos.
The golden headstart has sparked the fire in Suryani who now intends to add to her tally when she competes in two more individual events – the 50m rifle prone and 10m air rifle.

Suryani will shoot alongside Shahera Rahim Raja in the 50m rifle prone tomorrow and with Muslifah Zulkifli in the 10m air rifle on Tuesday.


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