Asian Games: Ser and that Wizard of Oz

Asian Games: Ser and that Wizard of Oz

It was neither deep nor booming, but the voice coming out of the speakers at the Ongnyeon International Shooting Range had a bit of the Wizard of Oz about it.

It seemed to know things. Sharp and shrill, it cut through the air at the range - and made things come to pass.

Eight women emerged in the midst of it, for the 10m air pistol finals of the Asian Games, in outlandish outfits and funny hats, marching stiff-jointed to their positions.

And as the event progressed, one by one the voice picked them off.

"Kim (Seola) will probably be eliminated after the next shot," it said. Out went the Korean.

"(Ayonika) Paul will probably be eliminated." The Indian shooter was gone.

Wu Liuxi of China was called out next, and then there were five.

The voice belonged to the announcer at the range, and rather inappropriately upbeat, she called out the names of the shooter who was bottom of the pile and in danger of elimination.

Jasmine Ser's name was announced next, but the 23-year-old is of a different ilk. The Singaporean shot a perfect 10.9 to leapfrog reigning Olympic champion Yi Siling, sending the Chinese shooter out of the Finals.

Ser's (above) name was called again, but this time she fell, finishing fourth in the final (164.9) behind China's Zhang Binbin (186.3), and Iranian duo Narjes Emamgholinejad (206.6) and Najmeh Khedmati (207.9).

FOCUS

"I internalised (the announcer's words), but didn't let it affect me. I wasn't trying to prove the announcer wrong - there were no negative thoughts - I just told myself to execute the next shot well," she said later.

"That is something I did well today," added Ser, who remained positive.

"At the last Asian Games (10m air rifle), I finished ninth, this time I was eighth, and fought my way to fourth in the final. I'm content.

"This gives me a lot of motivation to work harder and take (my) 10m event to the next level."

Singapore's 14-year-old prodigy Martina Veloso finished 14th with 413.6 points, while Cheng Jian Huan shot a 411.6 and ended in 26th spot.

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