Saturday, July 28, 2012
Malaysia's pregnant shooter, Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi is in London Olympic!
Malaysia's pregnant shooter, Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi, has made the trip to London and will compete in next week's 10m rifle event, just one month before she's due to give birth to a baby girl. She's not the first pregnant Olympian in history, but at 34 weeks is believed to be the furthest along.
The 29-year-old qualified for the Games at the Asian Shooting Championships in January, days after finding out she was pregnant. At the time, she had hoped her health would allow her to compete in London. So far so good.
Doctors say Nur Suryani is fine to compete. One of the few concessions she'll make is leaving London soon after her event on the advice of doctors who don't want her flying after 35 weeks.
In a sport that requires precision, calm and concentration, how will Nur Suryani compete with a child moving around her womb? "I will talk to the baby before I compete," she said in April. "[I'll say] no kicking, stay calm for one hour and 15 minutes only please."
She understands that some may criticize her Olympic quest but isn't fazed by it.
"Most people said I was crazy and selfish because they think I am jeopardizing my baby's health," she told reporters. "My husband said grab it as this is a rare chance which may not come again. Also, I am the mother. I know what I can do. I am a stubborn person."
Nur Suryani is the 47th-ranked shooter in the world and a long shot for a medal. She also qualified for the 50m rifle competition but can't compete in it for obvious reasons. That event has a section that requires athletes to lie on their stomachs, a position not exactly conducive to late-term pregnancy.