A woman who is eight-months pregnant will make history as she gets set to compete in the air rifle event at the London 2012 Olympics.
Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi, who thought her pregnancy would dash her Olympic dreams, is representing Malaysia in the women’s 10-metre air rifle event.
“When I found out that I was pregnant before competing in the Asian meet, I thought that that was the end of my Olympic dream as I will have to turn my attention to the baby,” Nur Suryani told Malaysian newspaper The Star.
“When I eventually qualified for the 10-metre air rifle event on merit, it made me rethink that perhaps, I am supposed to go all the way despite my pregnancy,” she said.
“Some have criticised me for conceiving when I already knew I was aiming to qualify for the Olympics,” Nur Suryani said.
“But I didn’t let it bother me and I have just continued with my training. In fact, the criticisms have only spurred me to do my best at the Olympics.”
Nur Suryani will be eight months pregnant when the event takes place on 28thJuly, and has had her request to have her husband by her side granted by the National Sports Council (NSC).
Although shooting puts less of a strain on the body than other Olympic sports like athletics, Nur Suryani has had to adapt her training regime. She’s altered the position she stands in to shoot, and has been training at different times of day to see how she would feel during the competition.
“One advantage that I’ve seen is that my stability increased — maybe because my gravity increased, my weight increased,” she said.
Not only will Nur Suryani be eight months pregnant when she competes, she is also the first female rifle shooter to compete for Malaysia in the Olympic games.
Nur Suryani will apparently be the third woman to compete in the Olympics while pregnant. Julin Diana Sartor of Germany took fourth in the skeleton race in the 2006 Winter Olympics during her first trimester and pregnant Kristie Moore represented the Canadian curling team during the 20120 Winter Olympics in Vacouver.
Let’s just hope the baby doesn’t kick as Nur Suryani fires!