SEA Games: S'pore's aim not far off mark in first-ever PPC shoot-offs

Try firing six shots accurately within a time limit, and in four different positions - seated, prone and firing from both sides behind a wooden barricade.

While this might seem daunting, contestants in the WA1500 precision pistol category (PPC) also do it over four distances - 7, 15, 25 and 50 feet.

Despite such challenges, Singapore did well in the Games' first-ever PPC competition - the result of a joint effort by practical pistol team managers from Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines - to win three silvers and one bronze on Sunday and yesterday.

Women's silver medallist Norizan Mustafa, said that the sport, in which some matches can take up to 1hr 15min, is mentally gruelling even though it is exhilarating.

"You need (the muscles of) your whole body," she said.

In a pre-Games setback, the Republic's shooters had "worn out" their guns in training and had to send the weapons overseas to be repaired.

While the squad, some of whom had been training since May last year, had been gunning for gold, mishaps over the two-day competition saw their dream remain unfulfilled.

On Sunday, in the men's individual gold-medal match, Anuar Abdullah was hit by a hot cartridge from his own weapon, unsettling his remaining shots. This led to a silver, in what his team-mate Peter Teh called a "missed opportunity".

Teh himself was first in the preliminaries but finished with a bronze.

The Republic's three-shooter team added a men's team silver.

Yesterday, the highly-favoured women shooters fell out of contention for the team gold in the preliminaries when Mabel Goh was disqualified after an unusual incident.

Said Teh: "Mabel was trying to holster her pistol, which slipped out from her holster... she was devastated."

Team-mates Norizan and Cynthia Lee rallied to make the gold and bronze individual shoot-offs.

However, Norizan fell to the Philippines' Elvie Baldivino, shooting a 228 to her rival's 230.

Thailand's Pattarasuda Sowsa-nga beat Lee 230 to 219 for the bronze.

Still, Norizan said the silver had exceeded her own expectations: "We started from scratch - what you see here on this range, some of it we built ourselves."

Their opponents, in comparison, used self-manufactured ammunition or weapons that potentially allow for greater accuracy.

Teh hopes to see PPC in the next two Games editions and, eventually, the Asian or Commonwealth Games. He said: "That will give Singaporeans who like practical and precision shooting something to train for."


This article was first published on June 09, 2015.
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