Shooter dedicates gold to late dad
Singapore bags another gold in shooting; Vietnam's Tran wins men's 10m air pistol
Shooter Teo Shun Xie's eyes shone bright as the significance of her win in yesterday's women's 10m air pistol individual event at the South-east Asia (SEA) Games sunk in.
Her voice wavering slightly, 26-year-old Teo said: "This gold medal is quite special, because my dad passed away last year.
"This is something I wanted to do for him.
"I did it for my dad."
Teo's father died in an accident at home last year. He was 57.
Teo started slow in the eight-woman final, but pulled through with six near-perfect shots in the elimination stage to win the gold with 199 points.
Thailand's Pim-On Klaisuban, 22, took the silver (196.7) while Vietnam's 2013 champion Nguyen Minh Chau, 23, settled for bronze (174.4).
Attributing her slow start to nerves, Teo said scoring 9.0 twice in a row calmed her down.
"Even when I was nervous I could only shoot 9.0," she said.
"So I told myself I might as well calm down, and maybe things might get better then - and the good shots just came out like that."
Expressing her gratitude for the 230-strong crowd that filled the indoor shooting range at SAFRA Yishun, Teo added: "I want to thank all the supporters for coming down to watch Team Singapore, as I wouldn't have achieved the results I got today without them.
"I'm very honoured to win the gold medal on home ground."
The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist had earlier won a bronze in the women's 10m air pistol team event, together with teammates Nicole Tan, 25, and Teh Xiu Hong, 21.
The Republic's men's 10m air pistol team also bagged a bronze, with the trio of Gai Bin, Poh Lip Meng and Lim Swee Hon scoring 1693. They finished behind champions Vietnam (1727) and runners-up Thailand (1704).
Gai, 47, qualified for the men's 10m air pistol individual event, but finished last.
Vietnam's Tran Quoc Cuong scored 197.4 to win the gold, edging out Malaysia's Johnathan Wong (195.1) in the final few rounds.
Wong, 21, felt the cheers from the crowd affected him.
"I didn't expect it to be this loud," said Wong. "I think the pressure got to me and I couldn't concentrate - when I made the last shot, I knew it was going to be a bad one."
For gold medallist Tran, however, the raucous audience was "no problem".
"I kept my focus well," said the 41-year-old.
"But I still feel I shot better in training."
Hot cartridge cools Anuar's golden hopes
Singapore's Anuar Abdullah went into the Precision Pistol Competition (PPC) shoot-out final yesterday high on confidence.
After the qualifying stages at the National Shooting Centre, he was the joint-top scorer in the semi-finals with Thailand's Thanawut Thammawai.
He already had his sights on the gold.
But then Lady Luck deserted him. A hot cartridge landed on Anuar's right wrist, and the shooter lost precious seconds flicking it off and then readjusting his aim.
That left him having to complete his last four shots in 10 seconds. As he quickly discharged his remaining bullets, the 46-year-old knew something was wrong.
His fears were confirmed when he retrieved his target board. One bullet had completely missed the mark, landing outside the seven-point ring.
That error handed the gold medal to Thanawut, who totalled 232 points - eight more than Anuar.
"It was really bad luck because I should have won. If only that round had gone in," he told The New Paper yesterday.
Singapore's Peter Teh won the bronze. Teh, Anuar and Sivakumar Velayudhan also picked up the team silver.
- BENJAMIN LIM