Shooting: Teo Shun Xie's world-class performance

Singapore's Teo Shun Xie finished third at the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro in the women's 10m air pistol. The event is the Olympic test event ahead of the Rio Games in August.
Singapore's Teo Shun Xie finished third at the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro in the women's 10m air pistol. The event is the Olympic test event ahead of the Rio Games in August. PHOTO: ISSF

She wins bronze at ISSF World Cup amid strong field, boosts Rio Olympics hopes

In a stellar field that included some of the world's most bemedalled shooters, Teo Shun Xie would have been seen as a new, unfamiliar face. Perhaps, even written off by her competitors.

But the Singaporean proved her mettle early yesterday morning, winning bronze in the women's 10m air pistol at the ISSF World Cup leg in Rio de Janeiro.

Ukraine's Olena Kostevych took top spot with a score of 201.7, finishing ahead of Antoaneta Boneva of Bulgaria (197.7). Teo's 178.0 was insufficient to earn a place in the deciding round.

Still, walking away from her first final on the World Cup stage with a medal in hand was impressive. What topped off the 27-year-old's achievement further was the calibre of the competitors she had bettered.

Being the test event ahead of August's Olympic Games, the Rio World Cup attracted a world-class field. Six of the eight finalists from the 2012 London Olympics were among the 68 shooters who took part in the event.

SUCCESS COMES WITH PASSION

She's very committed. She trains in the night after work and she's also at the range on weekends.

JEANINE HENG, SSA high performance manager, on Teo's determination despite not being a full-time athlete.

Kostevych, for example, is the 2004 Olympic champion who also won a bronze in London. China's Guo Wenjun, who made the final yesterday but was eliminated early, was the 2008 and 2012 Games gold medallist. She also holds the Olympic record in the old scoring format used before 2013.

Still due to compete in the 25m pistol event, Teo was not available for comment yesterday but her progress has certainly boosted confidence within the Singapore Shooting Association (SSA).

"This is an event that no shooter in the world would miss," said SSA high performance manager Jeanine Heng. "Shun Xie has great mental strength and proved that in this final."

Indeed, Teo did not shoot within the top three in each of the elimination round in the final, until when it mattered most. Lying fourth after the fourth round and in danger of being booted out next, Teo then posted a 10.5 and 10.0 to displace Chinese Taipei's Wu Chia-ying and assure herself of a spot on the podium.

With this result, the research officer at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology is almost a shoo-in to take the quota place she had earned the Republic at the Asian Olympic qualifier in February.

If so, she will also be entered in her pet 10m air pistol event.

Said Heng: "Shun Xie is not a full-time athlete, so training comes as a different challenge for her. But she's very committed. She trains in the night after work and she's also at the range on weekends.

"She has been on a very steady progress. She's made very good improvement along the way to mark her maturity in shooting and technique. This is definitely good motivation for the Olympics."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2016, with the headline 'Teo's world-class performance'. Print Edition | Subscribe