Shooters turn Asiad disappointment into silver medal at Asian Championships
At the Hangzhou Asian Games less than a month ago, Martina Veloso and Fernel Tan were part of Singapore’s 10m air rifle women’s team which came within a whisker of winning a bronze medal, only to fall short by just 3.1 points as Mongolia finished third.
On Friday, at the ongoing Asian shooting championships in Changwon, South Korea, the duo turned disappointment into jubilation as they clinched a team silver, along with Natanya Tan.
Team medals are awarded after combining the individual results from the qualifying rounds.
Veloso (627.1), Fernel ( 630.0 – a personal best) and Natanya (629.7) combined for 1886.8 points, which put them just behind China’s Hangzhou Asian Games gold-medal winning trio of Han Jiayu, Wang Zhilin and Huang Yuting (1890.7).
India’s Tilottama Sen, Ramita Jindal and Shriyanka Sadangi were third (1886.2).
Fernel and Natanya’s scores saw them through to the individual final where they finished fifth and seventh out of eight shooters.
Speaking to The Straits Times from South Korea, Fernel said they were proud of their achievement especially after the disappointment of coming close to a podium finish at the Asiad.
Fernel, 21, said: “We are really proud of it. Coming from the Asian Games, certainly there was disappointment. To be very honest, we didn’t expect to even medal this time around.
“I think I did pretty well because I didn’t start off quite well so I was quite worried that I might not finish it decently, but I’m very happy that I managed to trust my processes, trust myself and managed to execute what I wanted to do.”
Fernel was also thrilled to deliver a birthday present for Veloso, who turned 24 on Friday.
She said: “It was a joyful moment for all of us. We jokingly told her this was ISSF’s (International Shooting Sport Federation) birthday present.”
Reflecting on the silver medal, Veloso said: “We are quite happy with it because we beat the big countries like India and South Korea. So to finish second right behind China, because they’re the major powerhouse in shooting is a very big feat.”
Birthday celebrations will have to wait for the two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, who has other events ahead in the Oct 22-Nov 2 competition. She will compete in the mixed team 10m air rifle on Saturday, the women’s 50m air rifle prone on Sunday and the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions next Tuesday.
Veloso said: “Winning a team silver medal makes it a memorable day. It’s like the two girls gave me a nice little present so I’m quite happy about that.”