BULLS EYE: National shooter makes a return to winning ways with 50-metre rifle three-position goldIT was sheer delight for former national shooter Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi after the Olympian won her first individual title of the season at the Tun Hanif Trophy at the Subang Shooting Range yesterday.
The bubbly Nur Suryani, who has gained a lot of weight since giving birth to daughter Dayana Widyan last September, jokingly said she may have lost a few kilos after clinching the 50-metre rifle three-position individual gold medal.
"It was tiring. I may have lost a few kilos today (yesterday).
"It has been a slow and difficult journey for me. I took six months to win a title and hopefully, it will spur me in upcoming meets," said Nur Suryani.
Nur Suryani, 31, was determined to put up a strong performance in the meet following her failure to perform in the Selangor Shooting Championships in February and the Ally T.H. Ong Trophy in March.
She started the day by only finishing fifth on 563 in the preliminary round but bounced back in the final, thanks to the new elimination format which was introduced by the International Shooting Sport Federation after last year's London Olympics.
The Perak-born shooter posted a 15-round total of 445 points to finish ahead of Haslisa Hamed (443.4) and Nur Syahirah Zulkifli (428.4).
As Nur Suryani had gone through a caesarean delivery, she was advised not to compete in the three-position event in the opening two meets.
"It was my first three-position event of the season.
"I hope this win will dispel any doubts about my ability," said the 2011 Indonesia Sea Games double gold medallist.
She then teamed up with Muslifah Zulkifli and Haslisa, to clinch the team gold for Armed Forces by posting a combined 1,711 total.
Pahang (1,658) took silver and Malacca (1,644) settled for bronze.
Nur Suryani made headlines by competing in last year's London Olympics, despite being eight months pregnant, in the 10-metre air rifle.
She took a break from the sport after giving birth but then found herself excluded from the national elite squad.
Despite the setback, she is determined to return to international competition.
"I am using this year to regain my form. It does not matter if I will be selected for the Myanmar Sea Games in December. I am not thinking about that.
"My aim is next year's Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Incheon Asian Games," Nur Suryani added.
However, it could be difficult for Nur Suryani, a bronze medallist at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, even if she makes the team to the Sea Games as the 10m air rifle and the 50m rifle three-position have been dropped as medal events.
The non-Olympic 50m rifle prone makes up the six events, comprising 12 gold medals, in Myanmar.
Mohd Ashraf Mohd Izham (men's 10m air rifle) and Hazli Izwan Amir Hasan (572) were the other gold medallists yesterday.
Read more: SHOOTING: Suryani back in the groove - Other - New Straits Times