Thursday, January 8, 2015

Shooter Hasli training his sights for Olympic ticket

PETALING JAYA: The 25m rapid fire pistol event has been dropped from the Singapore SEA Games shooting programme but Hasli Izwan Amir Hasan is not losing sleep over it.

He has his sights set on bigger missions. The multiple SEA Games medallist wants to make the World Cup podium for the first time this year and win a ticket to the 2016 Rio Olympics at the same time.

Hasli is taking a break to recover from a nerve problem. His last international outing was at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last July, when he finished fifth.

But retirement is not on his mind yet despite the emergence of youngsters like Liew Tack Fai, Eddy Chew and Johnathan Wong, who shone with golden performances at the SEASA shooting championships in Singapore last month.

“I will be 38 next month but I do not see any capable successor in rapid fire pistol. Maybe in a few years’ time as one needs to gain experience to be able to shoot consistently under pressure .. and within a certain time limit,” said Hasli.

“I’m also trying to groom someone but I see no point in stopping ... not when I can still win at the local meets.

“I’m disappointed that rapid fire pistol will not be held at the SEA Games this time although it is an Olympic event.

“You need five countries to participate but only Vietnam and Malaysia have shooters trained in this demanding discipline.

“I don’t understand because this is a popular event for shooting at the Olympics ... but it’s okay.
“It’s better for me to do well at the World Cup meets and Asian Championships this year,” added the Perak-born Hasli, who was the only Malaysian shooter to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The four-leg World Cup starts in Changwon, South Korea in April, followed by Fort Benning in the United States; Munich, Germany (both in May); and Gabala, Azerbaijan in August.

The World Cup meets and the Asian Shooting Championships, to be held in Kuwait in November, offer two Olympic quota spots each for rapid fire pistol.

“The chances are there to qualify as a shooter who has already made the cut will not be eligible again,” said Hasli.

“This is where my focus lies ... to get into the final first and, hopefully, do well enough to qualify early for the Olympics.”

by Lim Teik Huat - The Star

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