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Liverpool 1 Southampton 0 match report: Daniel Agger heads winner at Anfield

Liverpool 1 Southampton 0: Agger header has Reds looking up the table

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UPDATED:

17:11 GMT, 1 December 2012

Defender Daniel Agger's first goal of the season ensured Liverpool returned to winning ways at home to Southampton but they made hard work of the victory.

The Denmark international powered home a header just before half-time, only his fifth in 133 Premier League appearances, after a host of chances had gone begging.

In doing so he helped the Reds to only their third home win of the season and back-to-back league wins at Anfield for the first time since September 2011.

On target: Daniel Agger secured a vital victory for Liverpool

On target: Daniel Agger secured a vital victory for Liverpool

Match facts

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Lucas, Allen (Henderson 69), Shelvey, Gerrard, Sterling, Suarez. Subs not used: Jones, Sahin, Downing, Carragher, Fernandez Saez, Wisdom.

Booked: Suarez.

Goal: Agger 43.

Southampton: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw, Puncheon (Rodriguez 78), Cork (Steven Davis 70), Schneiderlin, Lallana, Ramirez, Lambert. Subs not used: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Ward-Prowse, Mayuka, Reeves.

Referee: Michael Oliver.

Attendance: 44,525.

The latest Premier League table, fixtures and results

But in truth it should have been far
more comfortable than it actually was, which is a familiar story where
Liverpool have been concerned recently.

They had 14 shots in a totally
one-sided first half although Southampton could easily have had a goal
of their own with Rickie Lambert's long-range shooting threatening to
catch out Jose Reina.

The Southampton striker sent an early
swerving effort just wide before, in added time, his 35-yard drive had
Reina scrambling back to turn ball around the post.

But those two chances book-ended what was a procession of missed opportunities for the dominant hosts.

The restoration of Lucas Leiva to the
side as defensive midfield linchpin after a three-month absence with a
thigh injury transformed the dynamic almost immediately.

With both Steven Gerrard and Joe
Allen freed to play higher up the pitch in a 4-1-4-1 formation most of
the action was concentrated in their final third.

Winning moment: Daniel Agger rises highest to meet Glen Johnson's cross

Winning moment: Daniel Agger rises highest to meet Glen Johnson's cross to spark celebration from the Liverpool players (below)

Winning moment: Daniel Agger rises highest to meet Glen Johnson's cross to spark celebration from the Liverpool players (below)

Mixed emotions: Southampton and Liverpool react after Agger's goal

Mixed emotions: Southampton and Liverpool react after Agger's goal

Jonjo Shelvey, also back in the side,
bobbled straight at goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga, Glen Johnson flicked
Luis Suarez's pass across the face of goal, Steven Gerrard had a shot
charged down and then fired wide after a quickly-taken free-kick to
Suarez.

Gazzaniga denied both Shelvey and
Suarez, who made justifiable claims he had been pulled back by Jack
Cork, before the Uruguay international latched onto Reina's long kick
and beat the goalkeeper only for Maya Yoshida to clear the ball for a
corner.

When Shelvey smashed an angled shot
past the goalkeeper but back off the inside of the far post it appeared
luck was not on their side.

A marked man: Jason Puncheon gputs pressure on Raheem Sterling

A marked man: Jason Puncheon gputs pressure on Raheem Sterling

However, it took a double-dose of Uruguayan intervention to eventually help break the deadlock two minutes before the break.

Saints' South American summer signing
Gaston Ramirez flattened international team-mate Suarez on the edge of
the penalty area and although the Reds striker crashed his free-kick
onto the crossbar it rebounded to Johnson.

His cross into the penalty area was met by Agger who planted a header into the top corner from 10 yards.

Acrobatics: Daniel Agger clears from Gaston Ramirez

Acrobatics: Daniel Agger clears from Gaston Ramirez

Southampton, having undertaken damage
limitation in the first half, came out positively after the break and
Liverpool struggled to reassert their dominance.

After the first-half deluge it took until midway through the second period to carve out a good opportunity.

Jose Enrique, marauding from
left-back having been restored to his preferred position, exchanged
passes with Suarez on the edge of the area but his toe-poke at goal was
deflected wide by Luke Shaw.

Combative: Luis Suarez eases away from Maya Yoshida (above) as Lucas tackles Gaston Ramirez (below)

Combative: Luis Suarez eases away from Maya Yoshida (above) as Lucas tackles Gaston Ramirez (below)

Combative: Luis Suarez eases away from Maya Yoshida (above) as Lucas tackles Gaston Ramirez (below)

The Spaniard also saw his drilled half-volley from the left of the area batted away by Gazzaniga.
Such was Liverpool's desperation to score the second and give themselves
some breathing space Suarez tried to punch in Gerrard's cross.

It proved costly as his subsequent
booking ruled the side's leading scorer out of next Sunday's trip to
West Ham, who beat third-placed Chelsea earlier in the day.

Close attention: Jose Enrique fends off Gaston Ramirez

Close attention: Jose Enrique fends off Gaston Ramirez

Suarez flashed a left-footed shot
just wide in added time but in the end Agger's goal proved just enough
to ensure they crept closer to the top four, which manager Brendan
Rodgers insists remains a possibility.

It will only do so, however, if they
first find more support for Suarez in the January transfer window and
start converting more of their chances.

Everton sign Thomas Hitzlsperger, "Der Hammer", on short-term deal

Der Hammer time: Everton sign German hot-shot Hitzlsperger on short-term deal

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UPDATED:

12:28 GMT, 19 October 2012

Everton have confirmed the signing of midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger on a
short-term contract until January.

The 30-year-old midfielder, nicknamed 'Der Hammer' due to his long-range shooting prowess, has been snapped up by Everton boss David Moyes.

Hitzlsperger's has signed a short-term contract until January at Goodison Park, subject to international clearance.

Der Hammer: former West Ham and Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has joined Everton on a short-term deal

Der Hammer: former West Ham and Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has joined Everton on a short-term deal

The former Aston Villa and West Ham
star, who has 52 Germany caps but has not featured in national colours
since 2010, has been without a club since leaving Wolfsburg in the
summer.

Everton confirmed
the deal this afternoon and are hopeful that because the contract was
signed before today's midday deadline he will be available to David
Moyes for Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash at QPR.

Thomas Hitzlsperger, Germany's midfielder celebrates scoring against Slovakia during their Euro 2008 qualifier match 06 June 2007 in Hamburg

Thomas Hitzlsperger of West Ham United celebrates scoring the equalising goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Blackburn on May 7, 2011

International class: Hitzlsperger has played 52 times for Germany
(left) and made 11 appearances during a brief spell at West Ham (right)

HITZLSPERGER'S STATS

2001–2005 Aston Villa 99apps (8gls)
2001 Chesterfield (loan) 5 (0)
2005–2010 VfB Stuttgart 125 (20)
2010 Lazio 6 (1)
2010–2011 West Ham United 11 (2)
2011–2012 VfL Wolfsburg 6 (0)

Hitzlsperger managed only two league starts in the Bundesliga last season after he suffered a knee injury.

In a bid to earn a deal at Goodison Park, Hitzlsperger has been training with the Toffees and played 90 minutes for the Under-21 side on October 8.

Moyes has moved for the 30-year-old after it was confirmed that Marouane Fellaini will miss the next three weeks with a knee injury, while he is also without Darron Gibson with a thigh injury.

Hitzlsperger has earned 52 caps for his country and made 208 league appearances since his senior debut for Aston Villa in January 2001.

Midfield boost: Der Hammer joins Everton stars Marouane Fellaini (right), Nikica Jelavic (centre) and Steven Pienaar at Goodison Park

Midfield boost: Der Hammer joins Everton stars Marouane Fellaini (right), Nikica Jelavic (centre) and Steven Pienaar at Goodison Park

Would Roman Abramovich ditch John Terry and Ashley Cole? Matt Barlow

Dare Abramovich ditch Terry and Cole in wake of recent events

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UPDATED:

22:19 GMT, 7 October 2012

As the John Terry case grinds towards its bitter end, Roman Abramovich reaches a crossroads in his quest to make the world love Chelsea.

Alan Shearer, on Match of the Day, said he wanted to see the FA make an example of Ashley Cole for his abusive tweet by banning him from England.

Cole reacted with more Twitter interaction which must have made the board groan, but it also makes clear how Abramovich can use the end of this episode to make a statement about his club’s direction.

What a pair: Terry and Cole have been making headlines for all the wrong reasons

What a pair: Terry and Cole have been making headlines for all the wrong reasons

Chelsea’s owner was at Stamford Bridge on Saturday to see Roberto Di Matteo’s team ease to a 4-1 victory against Norwich.

With exciting young players like Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata to take the club forward — and statesmen like Frank Lampard and Petr Cech still in the camp — how much does the owner need two 31-year-old defenders with ailing bodies and an unfortunate magnetism for bad publicity

Cole is in the final year of his contract and is understood to be tempted by offers from abroad, including Paris Saint-Germain. He has served Chelsea well as a player but, off the field, has harmed their reputation as much as he has improved it.

Last week’s tweet was the latest in an embarrassing series of misjudgments which include an air-gun shooting at the training ground and allegations that he smuggled women into the team hotel on the eve of matches.

Terry’s contract expires in 2014 but his relationship with Chelsea — and especially the fans — is much stronger and more emotional than Cole’s.

End of the road Abramovich may not offer the pair new contracts

End of the road Abramovich may not offer the pair new contracts

He joined the club as a boy, captained them through the most glorious years in their history and has spoken of his desire to manage the team one day.

Whether this remains feasible after the events of the last 12 months is debatable. Whether he can remain captain is open to question. But dare Abramovich take it one step further

To start the process of ending Terry’s association with the club would be a huge call but if image and standards are important to the Russian, as Di Matteo’s comments suggest they are, it is something he must consider.

London 2012 Olympics: Shooting: Jin Jong Oh wins gold in 50m pistol

South Korean Jin fights back to retain Olympic champion status in 50m pistol shooting

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UPDATED:

17:00 GMT, 5 August 2012

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Jin Jong Oh completed an amazing fightback to retain his Olympic 50m pistol title and bag his second gold medal of London 2012 on Sunday.

Jin, who won the 10m air pistol event earlier this week, began this afternoon's final seven points behind fellow South Korean Choi Young Rae following the qualifying round.

The 32-year-old gradually cut into his team-mate's lead but with one shot remaining Choi was still 1.6 points ahead.

Successful defence: Jin Jong Oh completed a remarkable fight back to win gold again

Successful defence: Jin Jong Oh completed a remarkable fight back to win gold again

But Choi's nerve deserted him as he scored a lowly 8.1 while Jin nailed a 10.2 to claim the title in dramatic fashion.

Choi was left to settle for silver with China's Wang Zhiwei taking bronze.

Jin was in tears as he realised he had achieved back-to-back Olympic golds.

Afterwards, he said: “As a man I shouldn't be crying too easily but I cried a lot today.

'During qualifying the game did not go as well as I had wanted so I was frustrated, and when that frustration was over then came the tears as my frustration was rewarded in the end.

'Until the fifth shot in the final I was relaxed. But since I noticed my ranking was climbing I felt a bit nervous so I tried not to look at the scoreboard, and that helped.

'It's remarkable South Korea won gold and silver but, for today at least, I feel sorry for Choi.'

Asked if he felt he had lost out on gold, Choi replied: 'I would say I won the silver medal.'

South Korea took gold and silver, and China took bronze

South Korea took gold and silver, and China took bronze

Hotshot: Jin overtook his compatriot after a dramatic late surge

Hotshot: Jin overtook his compatriot after a dramatic late surge

Jin thought he had blown his chances of a gold medal, but battled on regardless in an attempt to catch Choi.

And one by one Jin reeled in his opponents until, with one shot left, he was second and 1.6 points behind his countryman.

It was still a big ask to snatch gold but Choi, clearly feeling the heat, could only shoot a lowly 8.1 while Jin nailed a 10.2 to complete an amazing fightback.

Jin said: 'I knew if I won it would be second time that I had won this Olympic title, but I did not imagine I could do it.

'First qualifying was not going well so I almost gave up on that idea, I tried not to be too ambitious and just to do my best.

'As soon as the final was over I said sorry, but Choi said, 'it's okay, I'm glad I got silver'. But 30 minutes later he was saying, “I hate you”.

'It's remarkable for South Korea to get gold and silver but, for today at least, I feel sorry for Choi.'

America's Michael Diamond leads the way in qualifying for the men's trap, scoring a perfect 75 for the first three rounds.

Two more rounds will take place tomorrow morning before the final in the afternoon, the last event of the shooting competition.

London 2012 Olympics: Peter Wilson wins shooting gold medal

The Man with the Golden Gun: British ace Wilson shoots his way to gold medal

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UPDATED:

14:44 GMT, 2 August 2012

Peter Wilson has delivered Great Britain's third gold medal of the Olympics after winning the double trap shooting at the Royal Barracks.

Ice cool: Peter Wilson led the way in the men's Double Trap

Ice cool: Peter Wilson led the way in the men's Double Trap

More to follow…

London 2012 Olympics: Australian OC ban sleeping pills

You snooze, you lose! Australian shooter Mark angry at ban on sleeping pills

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UPDATED:

13:32 GMT, 4 July 2012

Australian shooting champion Russell Mark says his country's decision to ban athletes from using strong sleeping pills in the lead up to the London Games will cost medals.

AOC president John Coates said Australian athletes will be banned from using insomnia treatments after champion swimmer Grant Hackett revealed he became dependent on sleeping pills during his career.

Mark said he had used sleeping pills for 20 years to ensure he overcame jetlag in the lead up to competitions.

Shooting off: Russell Mark is angry at the AOC decision to ban sleeping pills

Shooting off: Russell Mark is angry at the AOC decision to ban sleeping pills

Affected: Grant Hackett revealed he became dependent on sleeping pills

Affected: Grant Hackett revealed he became dependent on sleeping pills

'If John Coates tells me I can only use
my sleeping pills for three nights while I'm in London, it will have an
effect on my performance,' he added.

'I'm going to fly over to England on the
July 16. I'm going to land there at 5.30am on July 17. At 9am the next
day, I'm actually officially training. If I don't get a good night's
sleep it's not worth me going.'

Mark won gold in double trap-shooting at the 1996 Atlanta Games and will compete in the same event at London.

Coates has said he had no choice but to act after Hackett's revelation he had become addicted to the sleeping treatment Stilnox.

'I have to acknowledge this only really came to my attention when I read Grant Hackett's revelations,' Coates said. 'We have decided that we would amend our team medical manual to make it absolutely unequivocal that we do not condone and indeed prohibit the use of Stilnox by our athletes and other related drugs.'

Coates said the prescribed sleeping drug Temazepan would be provided to athletes in extreme circumstances.

London 2012 Olympics: Top gun Kerwood final member of GB shooting team

Top gun Kerwood confirmed as final member of GB shooting team

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UPDATED:

22:43 GMT, 8 June 2012

Charlotte Kerwood has been confirmed as the final member of the British shooting team for London after the BOA rejected an appeal from Abbey Burton.

Burton won the trap World Cup in Lake Garda last month to rise to fifth in the world, but the selectors opted for the more experienced Kerwood, despite her lower ranking of 15th.

On fire: Charlotte Kerwood will represent Team GB

On fire: Charlotte Kerwood will represent Team GB

Kerwood, a Commonwealth champion, said: 'I have been working very hard to achieve this and I'm looking forward to shooting well at the Games.'

Team GB's Phil Scanlan said: 'Charlotte brings will her a good deal of experience from Commonwealth and Olympic Games and will be aiming to produce her best on the Olympic stage this summer.'

On target: Kerwood brings experience to the team

On target: Kerwood brings experience to the team

Rory McIlroy misses the cut at Memorial Tournament

Tiger's back on track at the Memorial… but McIlroy misses THIRD straight cut

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UPDATED:

07:55 GMT, 2 June 2012

Rory McIlroy missed his third straight cut with a miserable seven-over second round at Muirfield Village as Tiger Woods eased into contention at the Memorial Tournament.

McIlroy had recovered from a nightmare quadruple-bogey seven on the ninth hole to finish the day in a share of 20th on one under.

But the next day there was no halt to his steady decline, as he bogeyed twice on the front nine before doubles at the 11th and 14th, together with a further dropped shot at 13, confirmed his early exit.

Off colour: Rory McIlroy had a nightmare

Off colour: Rory McIlroy had a nightmare

LEADERBOARD

Keep up to date with the latest scores from the Memorial Tournament here

McIlroy said: 'I hit some good shots,
it just seems like every time I go out there I make one or two big
numbers and that sort of throws me.

'Just those big numbers at the beginning are killing me, and I just need to get those off the card and I'll be okay.'

The round, which did not include a
single birdie, came after McIlroy missed cuts at the Players
Championship and the PGA Championship.

Looking ahead to the US Open, he
added: 'I hit some good shots out there. I'm definitely hitting the ball
better than I did last week, so I can see an improvement there.

'But I've still got a long way to go.'

Shooting the breeze: Tiger Woods talks with his caddie during the second round

Shooting the breeze: Tiger Woods talks with his caddie during the second round

For Woods it was a different story as
his three-under 69 saw him finish the day five under overall, one stroke
behind second-round leader Rory Sabbatini of South Africa.

Woods hit five birdies in his round, and it could have been even better but for a double bogey on the par-three 12th.

Woods predicted the field would stay
bunched up, telling www.pgatour.com: 'The guys aren't going to go out
there and shoot a bunch of low rounds out here.

'This golf course is hard. The pin locations for tomorrow are going to be difficult. So it's going to be another good test.'

Big hitter: Luke Donald tees off on the fourth hole

Big hitter: Luke Donald tees off on the fourth hole

Sabbatini was also three under,
carding five birdies against two bogies to sit a shot clear of American
trio Woods, Spencer Levin and Scott Stallings.

The South African said: 'It feels
good. Obviously it's been a trying year, and obviously it's great to see
some return on the effort I've been putting in.

'So that feels fantastic.'

Stroll on: Woods crosses a bridge on the 11th hole

Stroll on: Woods crosses a bridge on the 11th hole

Overnight leader Stallings could not
repeat his fireworks of yesterday as his four birdies were more than
cancelled out by five bogeys for a one-over 73, while Levein was level
for his round.

Two more Americans, Daniel Summerhays
and Jim Furyk, shared fifth on four under, while Sweden's Henrik Stenson
led the European challenge on two under.

England's Greg Owen was one under, one shot ahead of compatriot and world number one Luke Donald.

Spence earns Olympic spot with victory in modern pentathlon world championships in Rome

Spence earns Olympic spot with victory in modern pentathlon world championships in Rome

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UPDATED:

20:55 GMT, 12 May 2012

Great Britain's Mhairi Spence achieved the Olympic qualifying standard in style by winning gold at the Modern Pentathlon World Championships in Rome.

And her team-mate Samantha Murray also attained the standard by producing a terrific finish to take bronze.

It means three British women have achieved the qualifying standard to date after Freyja Prentice achieved the feat at last year's European Championships, although only two athletes per gender per nation can compete at the Games.

Spence, who went to Rome ranked fifth in the world, became the first British woman to win individual gold at the world championships since Steph Cook in 2001.

Over the line: Spence finishes the foot race in Rome

Over the line: Spence finishes the foot race in Rome

And there was further success for Spence and Murray, who joined forces with Heather Fell to win team gold to take the team's medal tally at the championships so far to four following the team relay bronze won by Katy Burke, Kate French and Katy Livingston on the opening day of the championships.

Spence produced a tremendous run/shoot to climb from third place to first, overtaking France's three-times world champion Amelie Caze on the final one kilometre run.

The Scot had started the run/shoot in third, 37 seconds behind Caze.

However, she shot well and left the shooting range the final time just two seconds behind the Frenchwoman.

She overtook her early on in the final run and then pulled away.

Spence said: 'People were cheering me on coming down the home straight at the end and I found some extra energy somewhere. I just kept fighting and fighting all the way.

'I worked so hard all day to keep it together. When I got to the shooting range I found the flow that we're always looking for in sport. It's unbelievable, I'm just so happy.

'I've got a great team behind me. Everyone has worked so hard to get me here. We've worked really hard for this.'

London 2012 Olympics: Malaysian shooter will compete 34 weeks pregnant

Golden child Malaysian medal hope will shoot in London… 34 weeks pregnant!

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UPDATED:

14:55 GMT, 13 April 2012

When Malaysian shooter Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi takes aim with her rifle at the London Olympics it will not just be nerves she will be attempting to control inside her.

The 29-year-old from Perak, situated 125 miles north of Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, is due to give birth to her first child on September 2, less than a month after the Games end.

'I will talk to the baby before I compete… “no kicking, stay calm for one hour and 15 minutes only please”', Suryani said in an interview at her home shooting range in Kuala Lumpur. 'When I go to London, I will be 33 weeks, when I come back it will be 34 weeks.

Oh baby: Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi (left) is heading for London 2012

Oh baby: Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi (left) is heading for London 2012

'They (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.

'I arrive around July 25th and I finish and come straight back, I won't be staying there very long. I don't think (I'll be attending the closing ceremony), we haven't planned anything.'

While the sight of her swelling stomach on the range at the Royal Artillery Barracks in east London is likely to make her the most conspicuous of the 390 shooting competitors at the Games, there have been doubts from the Malaysian public about whether she should travel.

While shooting is not too physically taxing, the mental stress and pressure of Olympic competition are sure to have an effect on the her in the heat of battle. Suryani said her family's health was imperative.

'They are thinking “can you do that, can you do that” I say “no problem” because when you have some living things inside your stomach everywhere you go, you have company. You don't feel lonely, when I'm pregnant I don't have problems, I enjoy it.

Aerial shot: The Royal Artillery Barracks, which will host shooting events during the London Games

Aerial shot: The Royal Artillery Barracks, which will host shooting events during the London Games

'My aim is to compete. Maybe, at the end of June or whatsoever, if I have some problem that would jeopardise the baby inside me, I will reconsider whether I am going or not.

'But I feel I am strong and my husband says “as long as you feel like that, energized to do that, it seems like that is your baby talking to you so you go”.

'The doctors say I am very good and very fit and it is OK for me to train up to eight months or nine months.'

If, as planed, she does go, Suryani will not be there to just make up the numbers. The tall markswoman won a bronze medal at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou and she also claimed gold weeks earlier at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, partnering Nur Ayuni Farhana Halim for the air rifle pairs.

In November, she won two gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games in the 10 metre air rifle and 50m rifle three position. She achieved the Olympic qualifying marks in both disciplines in January at the Asian Champions in Qatar, days after finding out she was to become a mum, but her pregnancy will limit her to just the 10m event.

'Yeah, I cannot do a prone position with this big stomach,' she laughs, amid the deafening noise as guns fire at the Subang Shooting Range situated at the end of a long, dusty lane near the domestic airport south of the capital.

'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.'

Her determined, positive attitude is engaging and was essential in helping her overcome the stereotype in Malaysia that shooting is a man's sport.

'I said, “whoa! it's like a man's job”,' she remarks of the time when as a 15-year-old schoolgirl, her dad invited her to the shooting range for the first time.

'But I like a rough job like that, not something girlie or feminine, I don't like those types of sports so I tried and its been ok.'

She hopes that her participation in London will help boost the profile of the sport among Malaysian women, but is she dreaming of becoming Malaysia's first Olympic gold medallist

'Oh, I don't think about that yet,' she added modestly. 'Anyhow, maybe they will say this is unfair because two persons shoot for one gold,' she laughed, pointing to her bulge.