Nur Suryani fails to deliver but treasures experience

By Gary Mihoces, USA TODAY

LONDON – To the beat of two hearts, a Malaysian woman eight months pregnant competed in Olympic air rifle shooting Saturday morning. Though 29-year-old Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi (pic) did not make the final, she treasured the moment.

"A pregnant woman can do whatever they think they can do. The most important thing is how they think," Taibi said.

Taibi, who said her daughter is due to be born in 3-4 weeks, came here prepared to compete while aware the birth could come at any time.

"I just prayed to God that if anything happened during my competition, I want to go the labor room. … I just accept it with an open heart," she said.

She didn't see herself as limited.

"I don't feel like there's a challenge during pregnancy. I just feel like ordinary, normal people, as if I am not pregnant. I still can do whatever a normal person can do," she said.

Over a span of 75 minutes in the qualification, the competitors took 40 shots each from standing positions at a distance of 10 meters. The rifles, powered by CO2, shot pellets. Each shot made more of a loud click than a typical rifle sound.

Wearing yellow, red and blue shooting pants and jacket — garb designed to provide stiffness and support within limits dictated by rules — Taibi finished 34th among 49 entrants.

She had the maximum 10 score on 32 of her 40 shots, and nines of the rest. Her total score of 392 was under the 397 cutoff for the final eight.

"I think the score is not my level best," said Taibi, who finished with five 10s in a row.

What will she tell her daughter about her first Olympics?

"Everything, everything," she said.

Also not making the final was 20-year-old Bahya Mansour Al Hama of Qatar, who carried the flag for her country in the opening ceremony Friday night and is one of the first four women competing for Qatar in the Olympics. She was 17th in qualification with a score of 395.

"The competition was very hard. … I'm so happy that I joined this competition, the first time that I joined in the Olympic Games," she said.

She cherished the opening ceremony.

"Last night was very nice. I'm so happy because I had that flag for my country," she said.

Two U.S. women made the final eight that will shoot for medals. In the qualification round, Jamie Lynn Gray was sixth and Sarah Scherer was seventh. Sylwia Bogacka of Poland and Siling Yi of China led the qualification with a score of 399 out of 400.

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