Bigger things expected of shooting starlet Martina
Many athletes would consider winning a world championship to be the moment when their careers finally reach full bloom.
But for shooter Martina Lindsay Veloso, who won the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup in Munich last June, her unexpected triumph is merely the seed.
After all, she is still only 15 years old.
For someone who has won such a major title at such a young age, the aim of the Singapore Shooting Association is to make sure that her development does not reach a plateau.
When asked about the association's plans for Martina, who is overseas on holiday and could not be contacted for comment, high-performance manager Jeanine Heng told The New Paper: "Martina is extremely young, and I really hope that she is able to keep improving even further.
"She must not burn out too early, like many other unfortunate young athletes, and we, as an association, will make sure we help her do that."
Judging by her mental strength and single-minded pursuit of success, Martina could very well prove that Heng's worries are misplaced.
At the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup in Munich last June - one of the four legs in the series - the Singapore Sports School student beat competitors almost 20 years her senior to win the 10m air rifle event.
She then entered last year's Nanjing Youth Olympic Games as the hot favourite, but had to settle for silver, finishing behind Switzerland's Sarah Hornung.
Heng feels that the starlet should continue to aim big.
"She has her South-east Asia (SEA) Games qualifications in April, and she's working hard towards that," said Heng.
"It will be an intense year for her, no doubt, but Martina needs to remember to look beyond the SEA Games.
"She is destined for really, really big things."
HOW HENG RATES MARTINA'S 2014:
Name: Martina Lindsay Veloso
School: Singapore Sports School
Notable achievements (2014):
- Kuwait Asian Shooting Championships, 10m Air Rifle (Gold)
- ISSF Munich World Cup, 10m Air Rifle (Gold)
Martina needs to remember to look beyond the SEA Games. She is destined for really, really big things.
— Singapore Shooting Association high-performance manager Jeanine Heng, on Martina Lindsay Veloso