Crack shot Ip eager to become a true Olympian
Marksman Ip Pui-yi is no stranger to the Olympics, - she has been there twice as a non-competitor - but this time she will be right in the middle of the action.
After having attended both the 2000 Sydney Games and the Beijing Games four years ago as a visitor, she can proudly move into the athletes' village in London after receiving a wild-card entry to the Olympics from the sport's international federation.
'I have been a very keen sports fan since my secondary school days and that's why I went to two Olympic Games as a spectator,' said the 33-year-old, who will take part in the women's 10-metre air pistol.
'But it's going to be a different story as an athlete. It's just a big honour to represent your sport in the Olympic Games and my 10-year effort has paid off.'
Nine Hong Kong shooters have met the international body's Minimum Qualifying Standard (MQS) in a number of shooting events, and Ip was nominated by the Hong Kong Shooting Association for the only wild card. The MQS for her event is a score of 370 and Ip hit 374 at the 2011 South East Asian Shooting Championships in Vientiane, Laos.
'She has performed well at a very high standard, which clinched the berth for her,' said the association's secretary general, Edgar Yang Joe-tsi. 'She was first selected to the Hong Kong team 10 years ago, but has made marked improvement recently, especially after regular training at our new shooting centre, which was set up in Kwai Chung three years ago.' The association has spent more than HK$500,000 to convert several squash courts into two shooting ranges.
Ip, who was a member of the team at the two last Asian Games in Doha and Guangzhou, said her Olympic target was to reach the final, which will feature the top eight shooters after 40 shots in a maximum allocated time of one hour and 15 minutes.
'She needs to fire at least 380 in London if she wants to get into the final,' said Yang. 'It's not going to be easy but we hope her intensive training in Guangzhou that started two months ago can help her.'
Ip Pui-yi's 10-metre air pistol score, which bettered the minimum qualifying standard by four points