Totally spent and struggling to even keep her balance for the last three days after coming down with a bad case of food poisoning, Singapore shooter Jasmine Ser was just glad she did not call it quits at the Asian Olympic qualifiers in New Delhi yesterday.
The 25-year-old, competing for a spot at the Rio Games in August, soldiered on in the women's 10m air rifle preliminaries for a place in the final, but eventually could not earn one of the two spots up for grabs.
Singapore's two other shooters vying for a spot, Ho Xiu Yi and Martina Lindsay Veloso, also did not finish well enough to qualify. Xiu Yi had entered the final in second place with 417.6 points. Ser was the seventh-best qualifier (415.4), followed by Martina (415.0).
This qualifier is the last chance for the shooters to earn a ticket to the quadrennial Games. Ser is pencilled in for her pet event, the 50m three-positions, tomorrow for one more shot at making the Games.
Said the 2012 Olympian, who could not keep any food down for three days and had been put on an intravenous drip at a hospital a day earlier: "When you can't even balance yourself , there's no chance for you to think about the importance of this competition.
"You just want to get through one shot at a time, telling yourself to complete one shot, and do it over and over again. I couldn't believe I could shoot to enter the final because I was still feeling weak. I gave the competition all I could today."
GIVING IT HER BEST SHOT
I couldn't believe I could shoot to enter the final because I was still feeling weak. I gave the competition all I could today.
JASMINE SER, national shooter, who was suffering from food poisoning at the Asian Olympic qualifiers in New Delhi.
The Singapore squad were hit with cases of food poisoning ranging from mild to severe, with Xiu Yi also coming down with a bout of illness. Shooters from Uzbekistan and South Korea were also affected.
The Singapore team, who so far have only eaten food catered by the organisers, had gone to New Delhi prepared - even brushing their teeth with bottled water and taking probiotics.
Martina, 16, a 2014 Youth Olympics runner-up, said she was lucky not to be hit by food poisoning. She said: "This is my first time in India and I've learnt a lot. We literally had to watch every single thing we ate.
"I was calm before the final. It was only when I got to the lane and started my preparation that my heart started to beat rapidly. I felt that the competition atmosphere was so intense and that's probably why I felt nervous."
Xiu Yi, who will turn 16 this year, was competing in the Open category for the first time and exceeded her own expectations. She said: "I thought I could've performed better during the final but I guess the nerves and pressure got to me."
The mettle the shooters have shown in the past few days impressed not just team officials, but also Ser, who is a senior in the team.
She said: "I'm very proud of my whole team. With these three younger shooters, the air rifle standard in Singapore is just going to improve. In the future, they will gain experience and get better at handling competitions and finals."