Asian Games: S'pore shooters back in focus

Asian Games: S'pore shooters back in focus
FUN AND LAUGHTER: Shooters Poh Lip Meng (above, left) and Lim Swee Hon (above right) looking relaxed at the Asian Games opening ceremony in Incheon.

INCHEON, South Korea - It is akin to being punched in the gut, to fumble at a discipline that you favour, sweat and bleed for, even love.

At July's Glasgow Commonwealth Games that's exactly what happened to Jasmine Ser.

She bungled the 10-metre air rifle, her pet event, finishing a disappointing fourth.

But, she bounced back spectacularly in the final shooting event, winning the 50m three-position event, setting two Games' records - 581 in the qualifiers and 449.1 in the finals.

The secret to her prowess, she told The New Paper then, was a simple mantra - one that the Republic's shooters will surely fall back upon as the Incheon Asian Games shooting competition fires off today.

"You need to be able to forget, and then to focus."

Shooting has been rocked by the health issues of pistol shooter Hoong Shixiang, who required surgery here on Monday to remove his infected appendix before withdrawing from the competition and returning to Singapore.

Competition Mode

But, in accordance with Ser's mantra, team manager Ng Jing Hui yesterday insisted that her shooters' minds have been calmed and tuned back to competition mode.

Today, the Republic's men's pistol team will do battle at the Ongnyeon International Shooting Range.

Addressing Hoong's health scare, Ng said: "Some of the shooters went to the hospital with me to visit him, and all is well after knowing that Shixiang is recovering very well from the surgery.

"Everybody is also at ease after knowing that Shixiang's mum came here to accompany him and take care of him.

"The team are fully focused on the competition and not distracted by the incident."

Hoong was initially pencilled in for the men's 10m and 50m pistol events, with his scores contributing to the men's team score in the respective events.

With his withdrawal, veteran 45-year-old Poh Lip Meng will stand in for both events.

These will be over and above the 25m centre fire and 25m standard events that Poh will compete in.

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