KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — Johnathan Wong is confident the national shooting team can achieve better results at the Hanoi SEA Games in Vietnam next month, thanks to the comprehensive training they have undergone.
The 29-year-old, who is set to make his sixth SEA Games appearance, said their preparation was not only from the technical aspect but also in terms of sports science.
“This time the NSI (National Sports Institute) joined our training, which was held in stages, so we not only prepared from the physical and psychological aspects but in terms of biomechanics as well. I hope this will give us an added advantage to achieve the desired goal.
“The main target is in terms of points, which I will try to achieve because the new format involves a qualifying round and semi-finals to get to the final, so our preparation was comprehensive,” said Johnathan, who featured in the Rio Olympics in 2016, when met recently.
At the Hanoi SEA Games from May 12 to May 23, Johnathan will compete in the men’s 10 air pistol individual, men’s team and the mixed team as well as the men’s 50m pistol individual. At the previous edition in the Philippines, he failed to gun down any medals.
Johnathan’s best achievement came at the 2017 edition in Kuala Lumpur when he bagged a gold medal in the 10m air pistol and silver in the 50m pistol.
The two phases of training sessions in Johor Bahru in mid-March and early this month have boosted the confidence of the national shooters, who returned from the Philippines SEA Games in 2019 with just two silvers and four bronzes.
National coach Mohd Firdaus Abd Rahim said they are targeting one gold and four bronzes from Hanoi this time.
“The reason we trained elsewhere (in Johor Bahru) is to get the feel of a different environment after spending two years at the National Sports Council (due to the Covid-19 pandemic). The objective is to prepare the shooters to achieve the target set.
“What we have done is to make changes… improvising, improving to help raise the shooters’ performance level,” said Mohd Firdaus, who was appointed coach in 2020.