Ser claims bronze in Azerbaijan

More than once yesterday, Jasmine Ser had to dig herself out of a ditch to stay in the hunt at the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup leg in Gabala, Azerbaijan.

But she composed herself in time to land the bronze medal in the women's 10m air rifle final.

The Singaporean posted 225.7 points to finish behind two Chinese shooters in the eight-strong elimination format final. Peng Xinyi beat compatriot Shi Mengyao in a shoot-off for gold, after both tied at 248.1 following the final two shots.

Ser started the elimination rounds in second place, but opened with two poor 9.8s.

"I noticed something was wrong with my alignment (before elimination began) and just couldn't really manage to adjust it in time," the 26-year-old told The Straits Times over the phone yesterday.

But with the threat of elimination hanging over her, Ser steadily climbed the rungs, responding with scores like a 10.7 when it mattered.

Moments before she was due for her 20th shot of the final, Ser was hit with another curveball when it was mistakenly announced that she had been eliminated.

Despite having left her lane, Ser scrambled back, picked up her rifle and within seconds forced a shoot-off for bronze with India's Meghana Sajjanar.

Said Ser: "I surprised myself this time round - how I managed to compose myself in a difficult and unexpected situation.

"It's a good learning experience because I had to re-compose myself within a few seconds, and I managed to do it."

While the 50m rifle three positions is widely regarded as Ser's pet event now, she has been posting impressive results in recent months in the 10m air rifle. Her qualification score of 419.2 yesterday was just 0.1 off her personal best, shot at the International Airgun Competition in Munich in January. It was also her best showing at a World Cup.

Said Ser, who now has three World Cup medals (two bronzes in 10m air rifle, a silver in 50m rifle three positions): "In a competition, the biggest competitor is yourself and when you're able to compete against yourself and have good and better scores, it's recognition for your effort."

Team-mate Adele Tan also posted a creditable result, finishing in 13th place. Ser is slated to compete in the 50m rifle three positions on Monday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2017, with the headline 'Ser claims bronze in Azerbaijan'. Subscribe