Shooter Teo bounces back to claim World Cup bronze
Shooter escapes elimination and wins bronze in 10m air pistol at World Cup
Singapore's Olympic-bound shooter Teo Shun Xie showed what she was made of, when she claimed the bronze medal in her first final on the international stage yesterday morning (Singapore time) in Brazil.
The 27-year-old research officer battled back from the brink of elimination to finish third in the women's 10m air pistol event with 178 points at the ISSF World Cup event in Rio de Janeiro.
Ukraine's Olena Kostevych (201.7 points) and Bulgaria's Antoaneta Boneva (197.7) bagged the gold and silver, respectively.
Teo, 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, who won the same event at last year's SEA Games on home soil, could not be reached for comment.
Singapore Shooting Association high-performance manager Jeanine Heng told The New Paper that the result was a "very significant breakthrough" for the athlete.
"In general, she has been improving steadily over the last three years, but this is the first time she has reached a final and won a medal on such a big stage," said Heng.
"She is really stable and mentally strong in finals, as you could see in the Commonwealth and SEA Games. In Brazil, there were times when she was almost eliminated in the final, but she managed to keep going."
"On the other hand, I almost had a heart attack," Heng added, jokingly.
Teo, who will compete in the 25m air pistol event later this week, was sixth out of eight shooters in the first elimination round - shooters who are last are eliminated in each round - and 0.4 points away from a three-way shoot-out to decide elimination in the second round.
The Singaporean was fourth among five remaining shooters in the fourth round, but leapfrogged over Wu Chia-ying in the following round after the Taiwanese finished fourth.
Teo was eliminated in the next round, but was assured of bronze.
Heng said the shooter could be a dark horse at the Olympics in Rio in August, but cautioned against reading too much into the result.
After all, unlike teammate Jasmine Ser, who is training full time, she is juggling work and training.
Ser has qualified for the women's rifle three-positions event for the Olympics, but will also compete in the women's 10m air rifle event.
Teo has qualified for the women's 25m air pistol event and will also compete in the 10m event.
Said Heng: "This is just one World Cup, so it won't guarantee a medal at the Olympics. But it does indicate that it's not an impossible task - shooters who are under a lot of pressure to perform tend to shoot lower scores at the Olympics.
"If Shun Xie can overcome such stressful situations and perform, she could stand a chance of winning a medal."