AG2018: Young guns gain invaluable experience from Asian Games outing
21 August 2018
For a second straight year, Irwan Abdul Rahman is celebrating his birthday while at a major Games. But unlike last year when he came away from the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur with a silver medal in the men’s individual 10m Air Rifle, at the ongoing 2018 Asian Games in Palembang, he had to be content with finishing out of the medals, having completed both his events.
Team Singapore shooter Irwan Abdul Rahman (right), seen here with Coach Elham, is celebrating his birthday while at a major Games for a second straight year. Photo: Sport Singapore
Competing in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Pairs event on Sunday (19 Aug) alongside Martina Lindsay Veloso, the duo came agonisingly close to making the finals. Their combined total of 829.7 was just 0.1 off the Taiwanese pair who took the fifth and final spot for the finals. It was scant consolation that Lin Yingshin and Lu Shaochuan went on to win the gold medal.
In the individual event the day after (20 Aug), Irwan posted 622.1 points in qualifying but that was good enough for only for 13th position, while teammate Sng Jian Hui ended 26th, as both missed out on the finals.
Even as he readied himself for the flight back to Singapore, in time to celebrate Hari Raya Haji with his family, the freshly minted 19-year-old felt his Asian Games debut has been a positive one.
“It’s a good feeling to be at the Asian Games, as it’s an indication of how far I’ve come,” said the 3rd Year Republic Polytechnic student.
“Despite missing out on the Mixed Team finals, I think we both did our best. There’s plenty of chemistry involved for the relatively new event and we only trained together on a handful of occasions. And with individual events coming up, we both needed to translate what we gained from that experience to our individual events later.
And for 18-year-old Martina, the near-miss took a positive turn as she made the finals of the Women’s 10m Air Rifle individual event the following (20 Aug) after finishing 7th in qualifying with 624.3 points. Her veteran team-mate Jasmine Ser was 13th in field of 46 shooters.
Team Singapore shooter Martina Lindsay Veloso. Photo: Sport Singapore
Martina was eliminated in 6th position in the final, which after three days of the Shooting competition, remains the best result by a Team Singapore athlete so far.
The 10m Air Pistol Mixed Pair duo of Gai Bin and Teh Xiu Hong finished 12th out of 21 teams. In the men’s 10m individual event today (21 Aug), Gai Bin finished 10th in qualifying, although his total of 578 was just one point off the matching 579 scored by the last two finalists.
Also taking part in the same event was 21-year-old Wong Han Xuan, for whom this was a maiden major Games outing after eight years in the sport.
“Shooting has taught me a lot in terms of self-awareness. The most enjoyable part of this sport for me is when I conquer the negative emotions and my will-power takes over,” said Han Xuan, who is heading to London’s Imperial College in October to pursue a degree in Material Science.
“I feel honoured to represent Singapore, especially alongside Gai Bin, having been selected ahead of more experienced shooters. Looking ahead, I want to use the experience gained from these Games to improve and continue to do my nation and family proud.”
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