KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Malaysia have been confirmed a wildcard slot for shooting at next month’s Tokyo Olympics, with experienced shooter Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi the most likely to be picked.
National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) executive secretary Hayati Shamsuri said the governing body received the confirmation for the women’s individual 50-metre rifle three-position slot via email yesterday.
She said the NSAM had emailed the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) to confirm that they will be sending an athlete to the Olympics, adding that the national governing body would hold a meeting soon to confirm the athlete’s selection.
She explained that based on the current situation, Nur Suryani, who has been performing consistently, was the right candidate to be sent to Tokyo.
“To qualify to compete, the athlete must exceed the minimum qualifying score of 1115 points and Nur Suryani, whose name is already among those in the list of qualifiers, has an average score of 1117. So, for me, she is the most qualified right now,” she told Bernama today.
The Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23-August 8.
If chosen, Nur Suryani, 38, will be making her second Olympic appearance after catching the world’s attention by competing in the London Games in 2012 when she was eight months pregnant.
She has also done Malaysia proud with numerous achievements on the international stage, including winning a silver and bronze at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, a bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games as well as a series of victories in the SEA Games.
“This is definitely good news. We (NSAM) have definitely been waiting for this news after applying to the ISSF. Since we can’t go out and compete to qualify on merit, this wildcard slot can be considered a bonus for the association,” Hayati said.
Admitting that they would have a very short time to make preparations, she said the NSAM would get in touch with the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) for their views.
In the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Johnathan Wong was Malaysia’s sole representative when he competed in the men’s individual 10m air pistol event. — Bernama