SEA Games: Team aim to make amends for misses

SINGAPORE- During his review of Team Singapore's performance at the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia, chef de mission Tan Eng Liang singled out the shooting contingent as a major disappointment.

The shooters won just a gold and a silver in Palembang, a huge drop from their performance at the 2009 Games in Laos where they had bagged six golds, five silvers and five bronzes.

Tan's words stung, and the shooters are eager to make amends at the Myanmar SEA Games, targeting two golds in the six events they are participating in.

"All of us want to prove that our performance last time round was not typical. We can do much better than that," said 2010 Commonwealth Games champion Jasmine Ser.

However, the 23-year-old's medal quest has been made more difficult as her pet event, the 10m air rifle, is not among the events being contested at Yangon's North Dagon Shooting Range.

Instead, she will compete in the 50m rifle prone event, which the Thais and Malaysians have traditionally dominated.

She said: "In competition, we fire off 60 shots from the prone position and it can get tiring to hold the rifle in that position for so many shots.

"I can endure the tiredness but that is when mistakes often occur.

"So I've tried to do some strength training to get better at this."

Ser, who won the 10m air rifle silver two years ago, is also hoping for better luck with her health.

She was down with the flu during the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and had food poisoning at the Palembang SEA Games.

"I'm prepared for whatever things that might happen and I am determined not to let them affect me again," she said firmly.

While she has to step out of her comfort zone in her battle for medals in Yangon, the men's air pistol team of Nigel Lim, Gai Bin and Poh Lip Meng are seeking redemption in familiar territory.

The trio had won the 10m air pistol and 50m free pistol golds in 2009 but failed to retain their titles two years ago.

They will once again be vying for honours in the two team events this Games, and Lim said: "We must make a comeback at this SEA Games.

"I think, two years ago, we made too many changes right before the SEA Games - we changed our coach, changed our techniques, all at the last minute.

"This time around, we tried not to make too many adjustments.

"I think we should be far better prepared to compete."

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