Shooter Teo wins Games spot for S'pore despite finishing sixth
Shooter secures Olympic spot for Singapore in 25m air pistol despite finishing sixth in qualifier
Teo Shun Xie was packing her equipment after being eliminated in the women's 25m air pistol semi-finals in India yesterday when she noticed her teammates and team manager waving at her.
"(Team manager Ng) Jing Hui told me that I got it (the Olympic quota place), and I went, 'Huh? How come'?" said the 26-year-old in a phone interview after her Asia Olympic qualifying event.
After all, the research officer had finished sixth in the eight-shooter semi-final, and only three Olympic spots were up for grabs.
The South Koreans swept the top three positions, but only winner Kim Min Jung secured an Olympic spot as each country can only secure a maximum of two places per event, and her teammate Kim Jang Mi had already earned a spot at a previous qualifier.
Japan's Akiko Sato, who finished fourth, got the second Olympic spot, while Teo took the last berth even though Taiwan's Wu Chia-ying finished one place higher.
This is because Wu had already secured Olympic qualification for her nation in another event - the women's 10m air pistol - and therefore could not gain a second spot for Taiwan in another event.
Teo said: "I am feeling okay now, still a bit shocked though.
"I thought I had no chance because I didn't shoot well in the semi-finals... and I didn't go around asking who got the quota places, so I had no idea at all."
Asked to describe her feelings about her achievements in the last three years - winning gold medals in the women's 10m air pistol at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and last year's South-east Asia Games, along with Olympic qualification - Teo was self-deprecating.
"Lucky lah, I am just glad everything turned out well," she said.
"And it's not just me, the rest of the air pistol team have been progressing really well and getting results."
She will continue to work and train before August's Olympics, where she will make her debut, unless her place is taken up by a teammate who outperforms her in the three World Cup competitions between March and May.
Teo said: "I am definitely excited about going to the Olympics.
"I will take it as a learning experience.
"But I will try to treat it like any other competition and not be stressed about it.
"I will be training to win, or get something there."
- LIM SAY HENG