Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi, a 29-year-old Olympian shooter from Malaysia has been called “crazy and selfish” for pursuing her Olympic dreams despite being a almost 34 weeks pregnant, but the new mom is ignoring the nay sayers and is set to take aim during the 10m rifle event in London.
Taibi will become a mother for the first time on September 2, less than a month after the Olympic games end, and her baby bump is certain to make her stand out from the crowd of shooters, but being a part of the London 2012 games was one she couldn’t pass up.
The Daily Mail reports that while Nur Suryani is not the first pregnant Olympian to compete, she is the first to compete so close to her due date.
Her husband Marhazli Mohtar, a police officer, is very supportive of her Olympic dreams, but Nur Suryani says others were not certain of her decision to pursue her Olympic goals.
“Most people said I was crazy and selfish because they think I am jeopardising my baby’s health,” she said. “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.
“They [the Malaysian National Olympic Committee] wanted to send me to London early because they are afraid, but what I hear from Malaysian airlines is that it is not recommended to travel for a pregnant woman from 35 weeks.”
She will welcome her daughter, Dayana Widyan, into the world shortly after the Games and a medal would make it a double celebration for Nur Suryani.
While there are challenges ahead, the shooter is unfazed by it as she has been competing in the mostly “man’s sport” since she was 15.
She is limited by her pregnancy however. Nur Suryani has had to make adjustments to her stance and being pregnant means she can only perform in the 10m event.
She is also exempt from doing the “prone position” which involves shooting while lying on your stomach.
“At first yes, I was disappointed not to compete in that one (three position) but when I think back, this is still a great opportunity.”
Nur Suryani is currently ranked 47th in the world and is a former Commonwealth Games gold medallist, partnering Nur Ayuni Farhana Halim in the air rifle pairs at the 2010 Games in New Delhi, the Daily Mail reported.
She stands a good chance of making it to the Olympic podium in the upcoming games, all she needs is a little cooperation from her little baby girl.
“I will talk to the baby before I compete: ‘No kicking, stay calm for one hour and 15 minutes only please. But if the baby kicks I have to breathe easy and let her calm down before shooting.”