The women's 50m rifle prone team of (from left) Haslisa Hamed, Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi and Nur Ain Ibrahim with the medals they won in Bangkok yesterday. - NST picture by Rosdan Wahid and Hairul Anuar Abd Rahim.
TWO rookies helped shoot down Malaysia's first gold medal of the Sea Games as the strains of Negaraku became the first national anthem to be heard but there was heartbreak for senior shooter Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi yesterday.
|Golden girls (from left) Haslisa Hamed, Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi and Nur Ain Ibrahim pose with the Jalur Gemilang after winning the gold in the 50m rifle prone team event at the Bangkok's Sport Authority of Thailand shooting range yesterday. Pic: HAIRUL ANUAR ABDUL RAHIM.|
But Suryani gained some measure of consolation by combining with Nur Ain Ibrahim and Haslisa Hamed to take the team gold with a score of 1,755 points ahead of Thailand (1,745) and Indonesia (1,743).
Suryani, who was suffering from a cough, paid the price for a dip in her performance in the final series when she scored only 96 points to Saw Than Than's 99.
The Malaysian shooting team sought clarification of Suryani's final series score as they believed she scored a point more than the official results, which would have won her gold, but nothing came of it.
"I was struggling to hold back the cough towards the end and I was not in the best physical condition which was why my scores dipped," said Suryani, 25, who bagged her third gold medal in her fourth Sea Games.
"But I'm still happy to have helped win Malaysia's first gold medal of the Games and hope it will spur the other Malaysian athletes to glory."
Nur Ain and Haslisa, both 21, did not let nerves get the better of them as they showed Malaysia possessed the strength in depth in the shooting team, which should augur well for the future.
"There was maybe a little bit of pressure initially because I was representing my country in an international competition for the first time but as the competition progressed that thought disappeared," said Haslisa.
Nur Ain missed out on an individual medal despite firing a perfect 100 points in the final series as Indonesia's Erlinawati Chalid took bronze with 586 points.
"I'm not too disappointed I did not win a medal in the individual event because the team gold more than made up for it. I came here only hoping to do my best but to win gold in my first Sea Games is more than I could have hoped for," she said.
In the women's 25m pistol event, Malaysia's Ishvari Jahnava Devi Das and Noorerffane Abdul Malick failed to make the top-eight final cut as they finished 10th and 11th respectively in qualifying.
New Straits Times