Asian Games: No medals, but on target

Asian Games: No medals, but on target
Singapore’'s Jasmine Ser Xiang Wei waving at supporters before the 10m Air Rifle Women's Finals.

INCHEON - The men have managed to fly the Republic's flag in a solitary final, the women on three occasions, but Singapore's shooters have, as yet, not managed to climb atop the podium here in Incheon.

While they have managed medals at the Commonwealth Games - where the likes of South Korea, China and Japan do not compete - the Asian Games has proven to be a different kettle of fish.

Yesterday, the women's trio of Li Yafei, Jasmine Ser and Cheng Jian Huan finished ninth out of 13 teams in the 50m rifle prone final with a score of 1839.0.

Li was the highest finisher, her 619.2 points saw her end the day seventh, while Ser (617.9) was 14th, and Cheng (601.9) last in the field of 43 competitors.

But Singapore's chef de mission, Jessie Phua, is not worried.

"We are, of course, in the medals business but, to be constructive, if you look at the performances and not the end results, you'll see that we are in good stead for the future," said Phua, pointing to several personal bests that the Singapore shooters have achieved here.

Yesterday alone, there was a national mark, with Li making it into the record books as the highest score in the new format that includes decimal places.

It was also her personal best.

Ser's numbers were also the best she has recorded in the event.

"Shooters have a very long shelf life, and you can stay competitive until you're in your 40s or 50s, even. Maturity is critical in that sport, and they will only get better," added Phua, who was especially buoyed by Ser's (above) fourth-place showing in the women's 10m air rifle final.

No Shame

Lim Swee Hon was the only men's representative in the finals of any event here - he finished sixth in the 50m pistol qualifiers with a score of 559, a personal best, and was also sixth in the final.

"Jasmine went from ninth (at the last Asian Games in Guanzhou in 2010) to fourth this time - there's no shame in that at all," said Phua, who is also president of the Singapore Bowling Federation.

"She missed out by, literally a hair's breadth, and you surely have to be proud of her performance."

Ser managed to hit a perfect score of 10.9 to stay alive in the elimination finals, booting China's reigning Olympic champion Yi Siling with that shot.

Ser, who turned 24 yesterday, is taking it all in her stride and, indeed, looking ahead to her final run-out here at the Asiad in her per event, the 50m three positions.

"It's getting tougher and tougher, because more and more people are taking up shooting and improving," she said.

"To say that there's no stress is being fake - there is stress, but good stress, and I'm taking it positively."

There is a similar upbeat feel with the men, who are next up, looking to set the record straight this morning.

Ong Jun Hong will line up at the Ongnyeon International Shooting Range at 9am in the 50m individual rifle prone, with the trio of Gai Bin, Lim and Poh Lip Meng taking on Asia's best in the 25m standard pistol, also at the same time.

This article was first published on September 26, 2014.
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