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May Chen
Sunday, Aug 24, 2014

Sports

YOG: Xiu Yi reloads to shoot way to silver

The Straits Times | May Chen | Sunday, Aug 24, 2014

Teh Xiu Yi (right), Singapore’s shooter and Mohamed Ahmed of Egypt posing with their Youth Olympic Games (YOG) silver medals from the 10m Air Pistol Mixed International Teams Finals in Nanjing on 21 August 2014.

When a shooter gets a rare second shot at a medal, she does not miss the target.

Singapore's Teh Xiu Yi won a silver on her second attempt at a Youth Olympic Games medal yesterday, teaming up with Egypt's Ahmed Mohamed in the mixed team 10m air pistol event.

Xiu Yi and Ahmed were runners-up to Bulgaria's Lidia Nencheva and Vladimir Svechnikov of Uzbekistan, losing 5-10 in the gold medal duel.

It is the Republic's second medal at the Games and also the second from shooting, two days after Martina Lindsay Veloso's silver feat.

For Xiu Yi, the medal was a reward for learning from her mistakes in the individual 10m air pistol event on Sunday, when she started well but faded in the eight-shooter final after getting distracted by the raucous crowd.

Said the 18-year-old: "I handled this final better. I was more focused so I didn't really care about the cheering and clapping."

Xiu Yi and her Egyptian partner might have been soundly beaten in the final, but they had twice come close to missing out on a medal altogether yesterday.

In the team format, each pair faces off with another team, and the combined score of both shooters from a single hit determines which side progresses.

The first team to reach 10 points wins the duel before moving into the next round until the medallists have been determined.

Leading 7-4 in the quarter-finals, they let Australia's Elise Downing and Bulgarian Aleksandar Todorov come too close for comfort before eventually edging them out 10-9.

They then had to play catch-up in the semi-final against Agate Rasmane of Latvia and Wilmar Madrid of Guatemala, falling 0-4 behind before scoring six straight points. A medal was guaranteed only after their narrow 10-9 win.

Despite the lack of high-fives, discussion or even eye contact, Xiu Yi said she knew she could count on her Egyptian team-mate, who she had been assigned with through a ranking score.

Said the Ngee Ann Polytechnic Year 2 student: "We have each other's backs. If anyone shoots a low score, the other score might help us earn a point. In individual events, you might get eliminated the moment you don't shoot well.

"We don't train together, but I think we work well as a team."

Added coach Zhen Tinglin: "It was a very hard-fought (path) to the final. When only two sides are competing, the pressure can be much greater than in an individual event. To keep their cool for a comeback win in the semi-finals is very commendable."

In the mixed team 10m air rifle event, Martina teamed up with Australia's Sanchez Clopatofsky to make it through the qualification round, but lost 8-10 to San Marino's Agata Alina Riccardi and Serbia's Andrija Milovanovic in the round of 16.

In swimming, Darren Lim did not compete in the men's 100m freestyle heats as scheduled, due to illness.

maychen@sph.com.sg

We have each other's backs. If anyone shoots a low score, the other score might help us earn a point. In individual events, you might get eliminated the moment you don't shoot well. - Teh Xiu Yi

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