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Vinay Nayudu
For a trapshooter who is a twice Olympian (London 2012, and Rio 2016), competing at the 14th Asian Shooting Championships at the windswept Losail Shooting Complex on Wednesday shouldn’t have been a big deal.
But for Lebanon’s Ray Jacques Bassil, the women’s trap final was a key battle where she just didn’t want to lose. But as luck may have it, the ISSF World Cup gold medalist at the 2015 Arab Shooting Championship in Morocco and in 2016 at Nicosia, Cyprus, was in for some serious challenge.
Kazakhstan’s Sarsenkul Rysbekova would only make things difficult for Bassil, matching shot for shot. And even if one did miss rarely, the other would follow suit and vice versa.
In the end, with both shooters tied at a score of 36, the final two shots made the difference. Rysbekova missed, Bassil didn’t!
Till then, the 31-year-old Bassil looked rock solid, calm and deeply focused. But just as her golden moment arrived, she sunk to her knees and tears flowed.
It took her a while to overcome the emotion. The triumph was a victory of sorts for this shooter, something to make people back home in Lebanon cheer about in these troubled times.
“People see the results, they never see what’s been behind the result. Honestly, I’ve been really working very hard for it for the past one year and it’s a result of very hard work and dedication. Also, every step given the situation in Lebanon it was regardless of anything that happened, it was like this is it for me. It’s time, it’s mine (the gold medal). I wanted to grab it, and I’ve done it,” the tall athlete revealed the emotional connect.
“My heart has swelled with pride for the people back home. As much as I can tell as to how I feel deep inside me, it’s not enough. Because I can see the sadness we have back home, so I hope this will cheer everyone up,” she elaborated.
When asked if the wind make it any difficult for her?, she quipped, “ It does, but when you are strong mentally, nothing can move you.
“I didn’t see the scoreboard at all. I was just standing at my position and waiting for my name to called out and step out of the box (being eliminated). But I never called out, and I was like I am there, I am there.”
Also playing a big part in Bassil’s success was her mental coach Anthony Youssef Rizk.
He insisted that his student has paid a real price for this success.
“A lot of people say they want to be successful, they want to achieve the next level but they actually don’t to sweat and get tired. Ray Bassil is one of those shooters who has the inspiration and dedication.
“She wakes up in the morning and trains whether it’s sunshine, raining or even snowing. She never misses a day even if she’s sick. It’s been a story of sweat, blood and tears actually. She has earned the success,” he stressed.
Bassil couldn’t win herself a place for Tokyo Olympics, but didn’t seem disheartened.
“It’s a new beginning for everything,” said the recently married shooter.
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