Malaysia's Ayuni lands shooting gold at last
Malaysian takes great pains with the competition gear, without which she had to sit out last year's Commonwealth Games
She started in the 50m rifle three positions event only four years ago for the Palembang edition, but has been dreaming of a SEA Games gold for six years.
Yesterday, Malaysian sharpshooter Nur Ayuni Farhana Abdul Halim finally tasted victory, as she clinched the title at the National Shooting Centre.
Speaking to The New Paper after her win, Nur Ayuni said: "I thank God that I've finally achieved a personal goal, because I've waited for this gold medal for so long.
"I took up this event only before the 2011 Games and even then it was a bronze medal.
"I know the Thai women are very strong. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't feel the pressure but, as a professional, I have to calm my nerves and do my best. I came here to fight for a gold medal, and I did just that."
The 25-year old Malaysian, who debuted at the 2009 Games, scored 446.7 points, beating Thailand's Supamas Wankaew (442.9) and compatriot Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi (433.5).
She even joked that she took extra care to bring her competition jacket, which she said helped her win.
At last year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, she was devastated to find the jacket missing, along with her whole luggage.
It was later found at Kuala Lumpur International Airport but that meant that she couldn't compete in Glasgow.
She still sighs when asked about it, but has since learnt from the experience.
She said: "This time I took extra care. At every stop, I looked around for my bag and made sure it was exactly where I left it.
"This time, we travelled by coach, so it was easier for me to be in charge of my own bags."
Meanwhile, Singapore's women shooters had a forgettable day as only Li Yafei qualified for the women's individual finals where she finished seventh.
The only consolation was that they won the team bronze, behind Thailand (gold) and Malaysia (silver).
Jasmine Ser, who missed the finals by a single point, said: "I think we have to be content with a bronze medal, because we all really did our best.
"I'm not exactly happy with my result today. I'm clearly tired from my trainings and competitions that I've been to before the Games.
"I concentrated on my air rifle events and then also on my prone rifle events, so my body is just tired from the constant travelling and competing.
"Now I just want to rest and recover before I continue my journey to qualify for the Olympics."