HANOI - Siti Mastura Rahim once had ambitions of winning medals for Singapore in badminton at the SEA Games.
On Thursday (May 19), the 33-year-old fulfilled her dream of a medal when she bagged a bronze on her debut at the Games in Hanoi. But instead of a racket, she was wielding a shotgun which cost her around $11,000.
Her reward for scoring 25 in the final? The bronze in the individual women’s trap, behind Vietnam’s Hoang Thi Tuat (39) and Indonesia’s Adylia Safitri (36).
So how did Siti – an Under-18 girls’ doubles champion for Raffles Junior College in badminton who had also represented the country in the sport – move from the swift swishes of a racket to the thundering booms of a shotgun?
She picked up shooting while at university. The Singapore Shooting Association had been to the National University of Singapore, where she was studying medicine, on a recruitment drive.
She tried the sport and it was love at first sight.
She said: “I liked the fact that it was dynamic, reflexive and instinctive. I loved how the clay target exploded in the air when I shot it.”
In trap events, shooters use the shotgun to take down a clay target as it moves away from the shooter at varying angles.
Siti had been in top form yesterday. She finished first among 11 competitors with a score of 102 during the first round and advanced to the final before finishing third out of six.
She was pleased with her medal given that she has had to juggle work, education and training all at once. She is a senior resident at the Changi General Hospital and in the final year of a six-year orthopaedic surgery residency programme.
Siti, who competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, said: “Today’s medal is a recognition of all the hard work I have had to put in.
“I dedicate my weekends to training. It’s not been easy but what has kept me going is my drive and desire to represent the country at the SEA Games and win a medal.
“I’m so glad that I have done it but I want more. Next year, I’m going for the gold.”