Air rifle shooter Jasmine Ser pulls double duty in Delhi

GUNNING FOR QUALIFICATION: If Jasmine Ser (left) qualifies for the 2016 Rio Olympics, it would be her second after having competed at the London edition in 2012 on a wildcard.
PHOTO: The New Paper

She is known for excelling in the women's 10m air rifle event, something she has been practising and competing in since her formative years in shooting.

But, these days, shooter Jasmine Ser finds herself better in the 50m three-positions (3P) event, something she picked up only six years ago.

"The 3P event requires less precision, but more endurance and adjustments for factors such as heat and wind in an outdoor range, but I seem to be more suited for that," said the 25-year-old yesterday.

LAST CHANCE

However, the National University of Singapore business graduate has been spending more time in her 10m event the past two weeks, and is hoping to make the cut in both events at the Asian Olympic Qualifying Competition in New Delhi, India, next month, as well as the Rio Olympics next August.

If she makes it, Rio will be Ser's second Olympics, having competed in the 10m event in London in 2012 on a wildcard.

The Indian qualifying tournament represents the last chance for Singaporean shooters to book their Olympic berths. The Singapore Shooting Association (SSA) will send a maximum of three shooters per event to New Delhi, according to its selection document.

Shooters who made the final at last month's Asian Shooting Championships (ASC) in Kuwait will be in the shortlist for India, along with those who have carded the SSA's minimum score at either the ASC or the monthly shoots this month and January.

Ser has already made the shortlist in the 50m 3P event after finishing fifth in Kuwait, but is optimistic of a 10m place in India after last weekend's SSA monthly shoot.

"I have been putting in more effort in the 10m event for the past two weeks and I am glad it has paid off," said Ser, "but we will have to see what happens after the second monthly shoot next weekend."

She declined to reveal her scores, but was nursing a fever just before the weekend shoot.

Training in both the 10m and 50m 3P events can "destroy" her progress in either one, she added, since there are distinct differences - such as shooting positions, duration and whether the range is indoors or outdoors.

Shooters train over months to master every little nuance to achieve fractions of points in competitions and switching constantly between different events can be disruptive.

"I picked up the 3P event six years ago and spent the first few years trying to learn the techniques, and now I am quite comfortable in it to perform (at a high level)," said Ser, the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist in the 50m 3P event and the 10m rifle winner at the Asian Airgun Championships in September.

CONFIDENT

"The trick now is to make both good, but I don't see a problem there."

At recent competitions, she has done well in either event, but not in both events in the same meet. But Ser aims to come good at the Indian Olympic qualifiers.

"Confident? Of course I have to be confident (of doing well at the qualifier), given the amount of preparation," she said.

"But I am just going to approach that tournament as I do with any world-class level competition... And I have been to many, and not the one and only Olympic qualifier left for me and the rest of the team."


This article was first published on December 28, 2015.
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