KUALA LUMPUR: “They are a bunch of fighters.”
That’s how national coach Natalya Zhukova has described her three women rifle shooters – Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi, Nur Ayuni Farhana Abdul Halim and Muslifah Zulkifli.
And Zhukova is counting on her band of shooters to show the same kind of fighting spirit at the Singapore SEA Games next month.
“I’ve known these shooters for some time now and all three of them will not allow anything to get them. They are fighters – no matter what situation they are in,” said the coach from Belarus who has been with the team since 2010.
Ayuni was devastated when her luggage went missing upon arrival in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games last year. But the 25-year-old bounced back to nick a bronze medal in the 50m rifle prone at the Incheon Asian Games in South Korea just two months later.
The 29-year-old Muslifah has suffered from lower back pains but still came out firing on all cylinders at the Incheon Asiad, taking a team bronze with Ayuni and Suryani in the 50m rifle prone.
For the Singapore Games, all three will compete in three events – 10m rifle, 50m prone and 50m three position.
“You throw them into any situation and they will not give up easily. I’m hoping that all three of them will show the same spirit at the SEA Games.
“Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar have produced good shooters. They will be our main challengers at the Games.”
Besides making a strong presence at the SEA Games, Zhukova’s main goal this year is to see all three shooters qualifying for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics next year.
by Rajes Paul - The Star