Friday September 21, 2012
Muslifah to stick with her ‘baby’ after bagging the gold
By LIM TEIK HUAT
PETALING JAYA: Shooter Muslifah Zulkifli could not bear the thought of parting with her ‘baby’ – her trusty German made rifle, which has been her steady companion since 2005.
And Penang-born Muslifah showed just why she is sticking to it despite having a choice of using a shiny new weapon by bagging the women’s 50m rifle three-position individual gold on the first day of the National Shooting Championships at Subang Shooting Range yesterday.
The 25-year-old shot her way to her first national title in the discipline with a total of 677.6 points to hold off a fighting Shahera Rahim Raja, who did well in the final to grab silver with 673.0 points with a brand new rifle.
Promising Kuantan Sukma multiple gold medallist Aina Zahiran settled for bronze for Pahang with 670.0 points.
Muslifah went into the final as the best qualifier but just one point ahead of Aina on 580 points.
She managed to hang on for the gold and was satisfied to maintain her performance after winning the gold in the South-East Asia Shooting Association (SEASA) championships at the same venue in July.
“I bettered my winning score in SEASA by one point today. I’m still comfortable with my old Anschutz rifle, which I have been using since I first joined the national team in 2005.
“The National Sports Council have acquired new rifles for us but I have not trained with it yet. I am not sure whether I want to change as it will take some time for me to adapt to it.
“Moreover, the SEA Games is next year and I don’t want to switch now as I want to do well in the selection meets which will be held soon,” said Muslifah, who won bronze in the discipline at the Indonesia SEA Games last year.
Muslifah is competing in the 10m air rifle and 50m rifle prone as well. London Olympics shooter Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi won the 50m rifle three-position event last year but is skipping the competition she is taking a break after the birth of her baby daughter earlier this month.
The combined scores of Muslifah and Shahera together with Haslisa Hamed gave Armed Forces the team gold with 1724 points ahead of Pahang, who had the silver with 1707.
Penang shooter Mohd Ashraf Izham delivered a surprise by winning the men’s 10m air rifle individual gold ahead of Bukit Jalil based shooters Mohd Zubair Muhamad and Mohd Hadafi Jaafar.
Ashraf shot a total of 687.7 points to nick the gold just ahead of Zubair, who amassed 686.0 points.
Hadafi, the double gold medallist in SEASA, had to content with third place on 683.9 points.
10m air rifle individual: 1. Mohd Ashraf Izham (Pen) 687.7, 2. Muhd Zubair Muhamad (Kul) 686.0, 3. Mohd Hadafi Jaafar (Pol) 683.9.
10m air rifle team: 1. Perak 1732, 2. Armed Forces 1724, 3. Pahang 1720.
25m rapid fire pistol individual: 1. Hasli Izwan Amir Hasan 576, 2. Hafiz Adzha (Prk) 564, 3. Khalel Abdullah (Forces) 551.
25m rapid fire pistol team: 1. Armed Forces 1621, 2. Pahang 1516.
50m rifle three-position individual: 1. Muslifah Zulkifli (Forces) 677.6, 2. Shahera Rahim Raja (Forces) 673.0, 3. Aina Zahiran (Pah) 670.0.
50m rifle three-position team: 1. Armed Forces 1724, 2. Pahang 1707, 3. Selangor 1621.
Boys’ 10m air rifle individual: 1. Mohd Ashraf Izham (Pen) 584, 2. Muhd Zubair Muhamad (Kul) 583, 3. Razi Aizat Adzha (Prk) 583 (On countback).
10m air rifle team: 1. Pahang 1725, 2. Penang 1695, 3. Selangor 1657.
Girls’ 50m rifle three-position individual: 1. Aina Zahiran (Pah) 579, 2. Nur Syahirah Zulkifli (Sel) 567, 3. Nur Afifah Tarmizy (Pah) 556.
50m rifle three-position team: 1. Pahang 1674, 2. Selangor 1621.