National shooter eyes gold medal at KL SEA Games
KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — His bugbear is the Rio gold medallist but that won’t be a problem for Olympian Johnathan Wong Guanjie who has primed his 10m air pistol for gold at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
Johnathan said, even as his biggest rival would be Rio gold medallist Hoang Xuan Vinh from Vietnam, he remains cool to what he calls open warfare.
“Of course, the challenge is huge but anything can happen in shooting, especially in the final where you can’t predict the outcome as our worst enemy is mental strength.
“To me, he (Xuan Vinh) is not the pressure… the question everyone pops to me. In my opinion, everyone is the same in the Games and each of us has an (equal) chance for the gold medal,” said Johnathan, 24, who competed in 10m air pistol at Rio.
At South-East Asia (SEASA) Championships in Subang last May, Johnathan settled for silver in 10m air pistol and lost to Xuan Vinh who took gold.
While in the previous 2015 Singapore Games, Johnathan finished second in the same event ahead of Xuan Vinh, third. Tran Qouc Curong from Vietnam took the gold.
Johnathan calmly added, the pressure of the KL SEA Games is actually on Xuan Vinh’s shoulders.
“The pressure is more on Xuan Vinh because as he is the one who will be competing in the SEA Games as an Olympic gold medallist.
“Of course he needs to be perfect. As for me, I just have to remain calm. But I definitely want to redeem myself after failing to shine in Rio and only managing a silver in the last Games in Singapore.
“In Rio, I wasn’t focused, so I really hope to correct that mistake at the KL Games,” he said.