Monday January 28, 2013
AYOF champion Joseph eyes more glory in Nanjing
By ASHREENA PILLAI
SUBANG: Turning 16 is a memorable milestone. But for Joseph Lee Joon Kit, turning 16 is even sweeter with a gold medal around his neck.
The shooter, who was competing in only his second international tournament, snapped up a surprise gold in the boys’ skeet event at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) in Sydney from Jan 16-20.
Joseph made his mark at the Sydney International Shooting Centre in Cecil Park by shooting 138 to take top spot ahead of second-placed Low Jiang Hao of Singapore (131) and third-placed Lou Liwen of China (125). It was Joseph’s second international gold medal. He won the his first gold in junior boy’s skeet event at the Southeast Asian Championships (SEASA) last June.
“Going into the competition, I felt like an underdog. I didn’t really expect to win any medal. To win gold especially just three days before my 16th birthday (on Jan 22) ... it was double cool,” said Joseph who attended the National Shooting Association of Malaysia’s (NSAM) lunch treat for the AYOF squad at the Subang Shooting Range yesterday.
“The weather was hard to contend with at one point as it was about 44.8°C. But I always reminded myself that you got three choices in life – give in, give up or give it all you got. For me, I choose to seize every opportunity that comes my way,” said Joseph who tried his hand at every firearm before finding his niche with the shotgun.
“After this, I hope to do my best at the Nanjing Youth Games in August. My dreams are to qualify for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2015 Asian Games.”
Joseph and medallist Choo Wen Yan (gold in the boys’ 10m air pistol and silver in the 50m pistol), Nur Zunaira Zakaria (silver in the girls’ 25m pistol) and Nurul Fatihah Mohamad (bronze in the girls’ 25m pistol) were rewarded by the NSAM who dished out RM1,000 for a gold, RM500 for a silver and RM300 for a bronze.
Pahang’s Abdul Hadi Abdul Malek (bronze in the boys’ 10m air pistol) and Mohd Nurrahimin Abdul Halim (bronze in the boys’ 50m rifle three-position) were unable to attend the event. Shooting contributed seven of Malaysia’s total haul of 17 medals.