Friday, July 13, 2007

Shooting: Shahera Grabs Opening Day Honours With New National Mark

Penang’s Shahera Rahim Raja stole the show on the first day of the Tun Tan Siew Sin Trophy Shooting Championships when she gunned down her first national record in her career at the Subang Shooting Range yesterday.
The Penangite equalled the national record of 399 in the 10m air rifle event during the qualifying round. The record was set by Muslifah Zulkifli in 2004. But her final score was even more impressive. She set a new national final record of 500.5 and surpassed the old mark of 499, which was set by Perak’s Hasliza Hamed in 2005. The more fancied Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi and Hasliza came in second and third respectively. With her impressive showing yesterday, Shahera has now sparked hopes of Malaysia winning a gold medal in this event at the Korat SEA Games in December. But more importantly, she has also put herself on the right track to qualify for next year’s Beijing Olympic Games. She will take part in the Asian Championships in Kuwait in January, which is a qualifier for the Olympics. Shahera, who will celebrate her 22nd birthday on July 31, was happy to make the breakthrough - just a year into the national team. “I joined the team in July last year and finally, I have set my first national record. It is a memorable day for me,” said Shahera. “It would have been a perfect day for me if I had shot down a perfect 400 during the qualifying round. I came so close. “I just want to thank all my coaches – from the national and Penang teams. They have been very influential in my rise as a national shooter.” Shahera, who will be taking part in two more rifle events – 50m prone and the three position – hopes to continue with her momentum. “It will be great if I can win a gold at the SEA Games. But ultimately, I want to make the cut for the Olympic Games. For now, I just want to chalk up better scores in my other events,” she added.