Shooting for the stars

Shooting for the stars
Spurred by an Olympic dream, Gai Bin hopes to use this SEA Games on home soil to plot his way back to the top as he bids to qualify for Rio 2016.

Like a shooting star, Gai Bin has had flashes of sheer brilliance, but there were also times when he seemed to fade away.

In 2010, he produced a stunning performance at the Commonwealth Games to win three golds, two silvers and two bronzes, and was voted Sportsman of the Year.

However, the 47-year-old shooter struggled to repeat his form in the years that followed.

He delivered two silver medals at the 2013 SEA Games. Last year, he won only a bronze at the Asian Games and drew a blank at the Commonwealth Games.

Surprisingly, Gai Bin, who also coaches students who take up shooting as a Co-Curricular Activity, was scathing in his own assessment when he talked to The New Paper recently.

He said: "I have to admit that after the high of 2010, I have slackened and managed my time poorly, as I have to juggle work and training.

"I have been in this sport and industry for so long. I'm also coaching in schools.

"Ahead of major Games, people would ask me whether I'm competing and expect me to at least win a medal because of what I've accomplished in the past.

"It's depressing whenever I don't do well. But I try to take it all in my stride and continue to work hard.

"In sport, as in life, there are many ups and downs. Who doesn't want his glory days to endure forever?

"But that's not possible. So we can only do our best and be accountable, and not dwell on past glories."

Gai Bin's affinity with shooting came naturally, although his road to the top of the podium was by no means straightforward.

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