HEALTH / FITNESS NEWS
July 26, 2012 12:00:00 AM
  Follow @ Twitter

When Malaysia's first women's Olympic shooter takes aim in London, she will offer a silent prayer to Allah to keep her unborn child from kicking until the mum-to-be can pull the trigger.

Nur Suryani Mohamad Taibi, the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and a navy logistics officer, is due in September, but that -- and the concerns of friends and family -- has not stopped her. Not yet, any way.

Her bubbly personality belies what she calls a "stubborn" streak. She kept training through morning sickness and a rapidly expanding belly, and with the Games opening on Friday, she is just days away from her dream.

"Most people said I was crazy and selfish because they think I am jeopardising my baby's health," said the 29-year-old, who is expecting for the first time.

"My husband said grab it as this is a rare chance which may not come again. Also, I am the mother. I know what I can do. I am a stubborn person."

Nur Suryani is not the first expectant mother to compete in the Olympic Games.

But at nearly eight months, the 10-metre air rifle competitor will surely be one of the most heavily pregnant Olympians in history. And she will smash the record books if she wins gold -- Malaysia has never taken an Olympic crown.

Readying for a recent training session, she squeezed her bulging abdomen into the heavy body suit and jacket worn by competitors to aid stability before shouldering her rifle.

Standing as still as a statue, Nur Suryani takes a deep breath before each shot, puts the target in her sights and squeezes the trigger.

She no longer suffers from morning sickness, but shooting requires an extremely steady hand and body, so much so that many shooters time their shots between heartbeats, when the body is most stable.

A key concern therefore will be whether her unborn child -- a girl whom she will name Dayana Widyan -- kicks at the wrong time.

"I am able to shoot as normal. But a kick from the baby stops me from pulling the trigger," she said.

She recites verses from the Koran -- Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country -- to calm the unborn girl, she said.

"Every morning I talk to her and I say: 'Mummy is going for training. Please remain calm. Don't kick.' But she was naughty this morning," she said, bursting into laughter.

But the confident Malaysian, who won Asian Games bronze in 2010 and is ranked 47th in the world, insists she is as fit as ever and that her scores have remained consistent in training even as her pregnancy has advanced.

She has adjusted her stance slightly to accommodate the physical changes and says that the extra weight actually has the added benefit of increasing stability.

"But if the baby kicks I have to breathe easy and let the baby calm down before shooting," she said.

Nur Suryani's husband Marhazli Mohtar, a police officer, will accompany her to London to help settle her nerves -- and in case the baby arrives prematurely.

"I just want to perform my best at the Games. If gold comes, thanks to God and my baby. Who knows? Miracles can happen," she said.

AFP


PREVIOUS STORY
Being cured of HIV is 'wonderful,' US man says
NEXT STORY
Cancer drug flushes out lurking AIDS virus: study

Bookmark and Share
   




FIJI NEWS
Reconciliation defers final results releaseVotes from six polling stations are still being reconciled, prompting the Fijian Elections Office to defer the release of the full official results.
SPORTS
Whites set to sign four playersNational Football League champions Suva are poised to sign at least four players in this player transfer window.
TECHNOLOGY
Vodafone Fiji, Tonga telco in allianceVodafone Fiji and Tonga Communications Corporation today signed a strategic partnership alliance that will allow the Tongan company to leverage off the experience of their Fijian counterparts.
LIFESTYLE/FASHION
Tafunaíi ready to fly Fijiís flag highNew crowned Miss World Fiji, Charlene Tafunaíi is ready to do wonders for Fiji in the Miss World Finals in December and is calling for the nationís backing.
ENTERTAINMENT
NZ concert for The Madden Brothers on Nov 4The Madden Brothers have announced a November 4 Auckland concert, after taking New Zealand by storm with their platinum certified smash single We Are Done, from their debut album Greetings From California, released this week.
OFFBEAT
Mercury 'took Princess Diana to gay barQueen singer Freddie Mercury disguised the late Princess Diana as a male model and smuggled her into a notorious gay bar, according to a memoir serialised in Britain's Sunday Times.
NEWS SPORTS INFOTAINMENT SERVICES MOBILE EXTRA HOT TOPICS