Thursday, December 12, 2013
The Associated Press
LONDON — She's shooting for two.
A Malaysian woman who is eight months pregnant will compete in 10-meter air rifle at the London Games. She found out she would be a mother just days after she found out she would be an Olympian.
Nur Suryani Mohammed Taibi is due in September. Perhaps feeling some of mom's Olympic excitement, the baby is kicking, and between deep breaths Taibi will ask her unborn child for restraint during competition Saturday.
"I will breathe in and breathe out and try to calm myself down and talk to baby: 'Behave yourself and help Mummy to shoot.' And luckily she understands. She always understands," Taibi told the Olympic news service.
She said she is aware she could got into labor any moment — although she said she hopes to win an Olympic medal before the baby comes.
"If I won the medal, I will see this is as yours, as you helped Mummy so much," Taibi said, speaking of the baby. "Maybe you give me more strength, more stability and more confidence."
Being pregnant means the 29-year-old Taibi has to get in and out of a special suit and belt for practice, but that is only one challenge: She is also drawing overwhelming attention that threatens her concentration ahead of competition.
She said her husband helps her remain calm and focused on the positive.
"When you think negative things, it will give you more stress. Then it will make your anxiety greater, and then you cannot handle the stress and the situation," Taibi said. "It makes you less confident of yourself and less focused on yourself."
To her parents, the mom-to-be is already a champion.
"Whatever happens, I'm satisfied already," her father, Mohammed Taibi, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Friday from the family home in northern Malaysia.
"I'm proud of her. I've told her: If you can compete in the Olympics, that's such an achievement already — all the more when you're pregnant," ''We're her family, so we support her. We'll be praying for her," he said.
He said he and Taibi's mother would be watching on television.
Taibi is ranked 47th in the world and won two golds at the Southeast Asian Games in 10-meter air rifle and 50-meter rifle in November. She finished fifth in 10-meter rifle at the Asian Championships in January to earn a spot on Malaysia's Olympic team.
Taibi also reached qualified for the 50-meter three-position event, but she decided against competing in two Olympic events.
Malaysian shooting athlete Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi, who is eight months pregnant, trains for the 10-meter air rifle event at the Royal Artillery Barracks, ahead of the the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics.