Ser and Co. miss Olympic qualification
It is a sport that requires strength and endurance, the ability to maintain body posture and an intense focus to execute precision shots.
But shooter Jasmine Ser had little in her armoury when she competed in the women's 10m air rifle event at the Asia Olympic qualifying competition yesterday in New Delhi.
The 25-year-old had been ill in the three days before the event, and went to hospital on Thursday to seek treatment.
"I was down with food poisoning, diarrhoea, vomiting and fever for the past three days, so I didn't have much strength today to shoot," said Ser.
She still managed to qualify in seventh place for the eight-woman final.
While the scores were reset, she eventually finished seventh in the final and missed out on the two Olympic slots the competition offered for the Rio Games in August.
Teammates Martina Veloso and 16-year-old Ho Xiu Yi were also in the final, but finished eighth and fifth, respectively, to also miss out on the Olympic places.
Said Ser: "Xiu Yi is a young talent, she has been performing recently and shot pretty well today.
"I didn't have much energy or strength left for the final, so I couldn't really bring out good shots and it's slightly disappointing.
"But that's just life. I am looking forward to the next finals."
While Iran's Najmeh Khedmati won the event, she was not awarded an Olympic spot as her nation had secured the maximum two spots in the event at previous qualifying competitions.
That meant India's Ayonika Paul and South Korea's Eunseo Lee, who finished second and fourth respectively, earned their countries the slots yesterday.
The New Delhi competition, which ends on Tuesday, represents the last chance for Asian shooters to secure Olympic spots for their nations.
Ser will have a final chance tomorrow, when she competes in the women's 50m rifle three-positions (3P) event.
While she has been known for her prowess in the 10m rifle event, she has improved by leaps and bounds in the 3P since she took it up about six years ago.
And she is optimistic.
She said: "I am as determined as ever for my 3P on Sunday. Entering the finals today gave me a good start for Sunday's event."
“I was down with food poisoning, diarrhoea, vomiting and fever for the past three days... so I couldn’t really bring out good shots.”
— Singapore shooter Jasmine Ser