THREE years ago, sailor Nuraisyah Jamil was heartbroken after missing out on qualifying for the Rio Olympic Games by a single point.
But, on Friday, she laid the ghosts of 2016 to rest when she made history by qualifying for next year’s Tokyo Games.
Nuraisyah, 23, and partner Juni Karimah Noor Jamali, 17, secured their Tokyo ticket in the women’s international 470 event after finishing fifth at the Asian Championships in Shenzhen, China.
From being devastated three years ago, Nuraisyah was simply delighted this time.
‘Back then, my partner Norashikin Mohd Said and I missed out on qualifying for the Rio Games by just one point. It was unbearable. I just couldn’t stop crying.
‘I never gave up, though, because I had the support of so many people. They all told me that I still have time on my side.
‘True enough, I’m now going to realise my Olympic dream with Juni,’ Nuraisyah said yesterday.
For Juni, it’s going to be an experience of a lifetime as she makes her Olympic debut at such a tender age.
‘I can’t believe it! I only got into the sport seriously in 2016 and now I’m heading for the greatest sporting event in the world.
‘I’m extremely grateful to our coach (Mohd Shahir Abdul Rahim), the NSC (National Sports Council) as well as the MSA (Malaysian Sailing Association) for the support and guidance,’ Juni said.
Nuraisyah and Juni, who are the first Malaysians to qualify for the Olympics in the event, hope to use the Tokyo Games as a stepping stone and motivation for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
‘We will be up against the best in the world in Tokyo and we will give it our best.
‘We haven’t set any specific targets yet, though it would be nice to finish among the top 10.
‘More importantly, we want this Olympics to fire us up so that we can hopefully be a much better pair for the next Games,’ Nuraisyah said.