Leonard Thomas: Shooter Ser's ready
Jasmine's mood reassuringly calm as she looks to fire up S'pore today
REPORTING FROM RIO
She rests the rifle on her stand and goes still for a few seconds.
She breathes hard, she gently reloads, she breathes hard again.
She hesitates, again, then fits her right cheek into the butt of her weapon carefully, snugly.
I count the seconds.
Each time, it takes anywhere between 15 seconds to 20 seconds for Jasmine Ser to pull the trigger.
This is deliberate, interminable stuff.
The entire routine is painfully slow, but when Olympic medals are at stake, picture the build-up of tension and excitement as shooters score big with each squeeze of the trigger and grow in confidence, or falter and need to fight against despair.
At the highest level, it's always potentially compelling theatre.
I watched Singapore shooter Ser go through her final training session yesterday here at the Olympic Shooting Centre, 24 hours before she goes into battle in the 10m air rifle event.
She is not a favourite, but she is a world-class shooter who is a dangerous floater in the field of 57.
Just behind her Lane 10 yesterday, I called out Singapore and said her name and she turned, and flashed a brilliant big smile.
This is someone at ease with herself and when I asked how she was feeling, she said: "I feel good. I'm fine and everything's been good."
If she was a wide-eyed debutante at the London 2012 Games, then this Ser will, at the very least, be respected by her rivals.
Like Frederick Forsyth's Jackal, she's travelled around the world accompanied by her weapon, each time on a mission to hit her target.
The 25-year-old is experienced and comfortable in elite company.
And she has got top Russian coach Kirill Ivanov by her side.
The former Olympic medallist sat quietly behind her yesterday, checking her posture, watching her score each time, and also glancing at the form of the other shooters, no doubt.
10.6, 10.4, 10.3, 10.5, Ser's score flashed on her screen each time she squeezed the trigger.
She will need to be better tomorrow, I told myself.
Especially with the deadly Chinese, Koreans and Europeans about.
Coach Ivanov wasn't too bothered, though.
"She's okay. So far no problem, but we see tomorrow," he said.
Towards the end of the session, the duo talked more, possibly about her posture, her breathing, perhaps even her timing.
Ser would have gone back to the Games Village and talked to her psychologist one final time before her first event today.
It was early morning and Ser gave out a yawn yesterday as she packed up her equipment.
"Pressure is always there and to be here is good. Tomorrow, I begin to shoot," she told me, smiling as she walked off.
Today, she has to be at her best to get through the qualifying session and make the final.
Today, she has to be at her best and needs some luck if she is to win a medal.
With big guns littered all through the lanes, it will be tough, but Singapore, Ser is calm and focused.
And she is capable.
Singaporeans in action
- Jasmine Ser (women's 10m air rifle)
Finals (if she qualifies): From 9.30pm
- Saiyidah Aisyah (women's single sculls heats) - 8.30pm
- Chen Feng (men's singles preliminary round) - 8.45pm
*All in Singapore time, subject to changes.