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SEA Games: National shooter Hafiz’s silver lining after no action for five years

National shooter Hafiz Adzha in action during the 25 metre Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol event at the Hanoi National Sports Training Centre in Hanoi, May 16, 2022. — Bernama pic

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HANOI, May 16 — National shooter Hafiz Adzha did well to gun down a surprise silver medal in the men’s 25-metre (m) rapid fire pistol event at the 31st SEA Games here today despite having not competed on the international stage for five years.

In the final round at the National Sports Training Centre here, Hafiz missed out on the gold medal by just two points, with Vietnam’s Thanh Ha Minh emerging triumphant with 27 points.

Thailand’s Ram Khamhaeng collected 20 points to take the bronze medal.

“I am very satisfied with my achievement because I have not competed in an outdoor meet for a long time, this being the first. Also, I wasn’t actually focused on individual events but rather on the team event.

“But when our team fell short, I had to give everything in this event,” said Hafiz, who is a member of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM).

Commenting on his silver medal achievement, he admitted to being jittery throughout the competition and struggling to keep his nerves amidst pressure from the home audience, especially during the shootout for the gold medal.

“Maybe it was due to a lack of exposure as I haven’t participated in a major competition for a long time, so I was very nervous but I kept control best as I could,” he said.

For the record, Hafizh won a gold (team) and a bronze (individual) at the 2007 edition in Korat, Thailand before making a return 10 years later at the 2017 edition in Kuala Lumpur, where he finished fifth.

Earlier, Hafizh, Hasli Izwan Amir Hassan and Mohd Ridhuan Mohamed accumulated 1,691 points to finish fourth in the team event, which was won by Vietnam (1,706 points).

Meanwhile, team manager Hayati Shamsuri hoped that today’s success would ignite the spirit of the national camp in achieving their target of one gold and four bronzes.

“Hafiz’s success is like a trigger because we were only aiming for bronze and when we got silver, it is a bonus for the team. I hope this excellent momentum can be continued by other shooters,” he said. — Bernama

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