More value in preparation than medal

Martina Veloso is not taking selection for next year's Commonwealth Games for granted despite doing well on the Gold Coast.
Martina Veloso is not taking selection for next year's Commonwealth Games for granted despite doing well on the Gold Coast.ST FILE PHOTO

Shooter Martina Veloso bagged a bronze medal in Australia yesterday but what was more significant for the Singapore teenager was the fact that the annual meet was a chance to get a feel of the conditions ahead of April's Commonwealth Games.

The Oct 28-Nov 8 Commonwealth Shooting Federation (CSF) and Oceania Shooting Federation (OSF) Championships on the Gold Coast are a test event for the quadrennial Games and the 18-year-old, participating in her first overseas competition since the August SEA Games, had merely been aiming to qualify for the finals.

But she exceeded her own expectations by adding a second bronze to her tally after scoring 440.1 points in the women's 50m rifle three positions final yesterday. Scotland's Seonaid McIntosh won the event with 459.9 points while England's Katie Gleeson was second (451.1). Singaporeans Tessa Neo (564) and Jasmine Ser (561) finished 11th and 12th respectively in the qualifiers.

Veloso, whose first bronze came in the 10m air rifle event on Wednesday, said: "The main goal was to gain experience because here in Australia, the winds are much stronger and we can't get that environment in Singapore.

"I was in fifth place most of the time (during the 3P final) but during the final position, which was standing, a lot of the other scores were jumping up and down so it was over there that I managed to catch up."

She may have finished ahead of 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Ser and runner-up Jennifer McIntosh, who was fifth, but Veloso is not letting it go to her head. "There are a lot of good shooters in this event and it was probably one of their not-so-good days," she said. "There are also some Commonwealth countries that didn't participate in this competition."

The selection period for next year's Games starts next month and she hopes she can maintain her form.

While she acknowledged that winning two medals had been a bonus, she intends to devote more time to working on mental training in the 50m 3P by finding a fixed pre-shoot routine that suits her for the event.

She said: "Selection-wise, (my results here) don't mean anything - there are many strong shooters in Singapore and I hope I can maintain my standard."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2017, with the headline 'More value in preparation than medal'. Print Edition | Subscribe