National pistol shooter Johnathan Wong packing up his weapon after completing the 10m air pistol individual event at the Singapore SEA Games on Sunday. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/ The STAR
SINGAPORE: Small margins. That’s the difference between winning and not.
Just ask Johnathan Wong Guanjie. He came within a whisker of striking gold, but misfired his last two shots to end up with a silver in the men’s 10m air pistol individual event on Sunday.
With chants of ‘Malay-Sia!’, ‘Malay-Sia!’ getting louder in the background at the SAFRA Yishun indoor shooting range, the 22-year-old shooter lost it.
Having led from the start in the final, he ended up shooting 8.5 and 7.5 to amass 195.1 points.
The two mistakes allowed Olympic-bound Tran Quoc Cuong of Vietnam, who shot 10.5 and 8.4, to nick the gold by just 2.3 points with a 197.4 total. Tran’s team-mate, Hoang Xuan Vinh, took the bronze with 178.2 points.
“I could hear the cheers, but I wasn’t paying attention to it at all. I was just thinking about the gold. But I ended up making mistakes on my last two shots,” said Johnathan.
“My target was the gold. Vietnam were strong, but… once you’re in the final, you start at 0-0. It just boils down to your mental game.
“But this is my best individual finish at the Games. I had three bronzes previously… this is much better,” added Johnathan, who has one more event – the 50m pistol – on Thursday.
Johnathan also came agonisingly close to winning the team bronze. He combined with Eddy Chew and Choo Wen Yan to finish fourth with a 1,692 total, just one point behind bronze medallists Singapore. Vietnam clinched the gold with 1,727 points with Thailand second on 1,704.
Malaysia also clinched a silver through Joseline Cheah, Bibiana Ng and Wahidah Ismail in the women’s 10m team event. They amassed 1,125 points. Thailand emerged champions with a 1,134 total with Singapore third on 1,121.
Joseline and Bibiana managed to make the individual final, but could only manage to finish sixth and eighth.
The Star Online