Monday April 2, 2012
Pregnant but shooter determined to compete in London Olympics
By RAJES PAUL
PETALING JAYA: Olympic-bound shooter Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi’s determination and sacrifices have won her much praise.
The country’s top female rifle shooter has decided to compete in the London Olympics in August although she will be seven months pregnant at that time.
And to show her seriousness, Suryani has been giving her utmost best in training.
National Sports Council’s (NSC) elite programme director Mohd Ariffin Ghani said that Suryani’s positive attitude was exemplary.
“Suryani has not backed down although she is entering her fourth month of pregnancy. We received a progress report that she is coping quite well with the training. It takes much courage and determination to do what she is doing,” said Ariffin.
“For now, Suryani is sticking to her decision to participate in the Olympic Games but we will monitor her closely.”
In any case that Suryani is later unable to make the trip to London, Ariffin said there were a few shooters like Nur Ayuni Farhana Halim, Muslifah Zulkifli, Shahera Rahim Raja who are waiting in the wings.
“These shooters are also training with Suryani and they have been kept on their toes too. We can make replacements if there is a need to do so.
“For now, we will just accept Suryani’s decision. After all, she qualified on merit and deserves to go.
“If she goes, she will sacrifice her comfort during her pregnancy to give full attention to training. If she does not go, she will be sacrificing her spot for another shooter. Suryani is truly a commendable athlete.”
Suryani is the first Malaysian woman shooter to qualify for the Olympics. She earned the quota spot at the Asian Shooting Championships in Doha for the women’s 10m air rifle event.
She has been making her mark over the last two years. She was a bronze medallist at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou and also claimed gold that same year at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, partnering Ayuni for the air rifle pairs.
Last year, she won the Olympian of the Year award for winning two gold medals at the SEA Games in Jakarta.
Besides Suryani, a few others, like former national athletes Yuan Yufang and G. Shanti (athletics) and Shalin Zulkifli – who is still going strong in bowling – have shown that pregnancy and motherhood are not hindrances in their pursuit of excellence in sports.
For the record, besides shooting, Malaysia will also have representatives in four other sports at the London Games – badminton, archery, cycling and diving.