Olympics: Hasli targets top 10 finish in Beijing
KUALA LUMPUR: Hasli Izwan Amir Hasan has created history for Malaysian shooting. And he hopes that his participation in the Beijing Olympics will encourage other shooters to try and qualify on merit and aim for a medal in future Games.
“Malaysian shooters featured in previous Games as wildcard entries and I am the first to make the grade on merit. But this is not the end of my battle. I will be competing against the best and I will aim to come back with a personal best score,” said Hasli.
The 31-year-old secured an Olympic berth in the 25m rapid-fire pistol event at the Asian championships in Kuwait last year. He scored a national record-equalling 776.6 to finish second behind China’s Zhang Penghui (779.4).
“I have been training very hard and my target is to get among the top 10. It will be tough and I have to put aside the pressure and try to stay focussed on the task,” he said.
“There is no point coming all the way to Beijing and let nervousness get the better of you. I have to do well and let my result serve as an encouragement for our future shooters.”
Hasli works as manager at the Langkawi International Shooting Range, which also serves as his training base under coach Mohamed Hashim Desa.
“I took up the job two months ago and this offers me a secure future. Previously, I was jobless but trained full time,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to better things after the Olympics. One of my aims is to try and win an Asian Games medal. Age is no barrier in shooting and I can try to make it to the 2010 London Olympics as well.”
Hasli added that he was ready for the challenges in Beijing and most of the work over the last couple of weeks was confined to boosting his mental strength.
“I need to be strong mentally and to keep full concentration during the competition. Nerves will play a big part and I need to learn to control it,” he said.
Hasli will not be with his son, Hazrey Izuddin, who will turn one on Aug 14, the eve of his competition in Beijing.
“It’s a pity that I will not be around to celebrate his birthday. But he will certainly be my inspiration and it will be a good gift for him if I meet my personal target,” said Hasli, who will leave for Beijing on Aug 11.