Pakistanis wait to receive donated iftar at a restaurant in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. The food is donated by wealthy local Muslims who give money to vendors to feed the poor during Islam’s holiest month. (AP)
Pakistani volunteers arrange food for iftar at a mosque during the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Karachi on July 27, 2012. (Getty Images)
Moroccan Muslims offer tarawih prayers on the esplanade of the Hassan II mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, in Casablanca, July 27, 2012. (Reuters)
LONDON — She’s shooting for two.
A Malaysian woman who is eight months pregnant will compete in 10-meter air rifle at the London Games. She found out she would be a mother just days after she found out she would be an Olympian.
Nur Suryani Mohammed Taibi is due in September. Perhaps feeling some of mom’s Olympic excitement, the baby is kicking, and between deep breaths Taibi will ask her unborn child for restraint during competition Saturday.
"I will breathe in and breathe out and try to calm myself down and talk to baby: ‘Behave yourself and help Mummy to shoot.’ And luckily she understands. She always understands," Taibi told the Olympic news service.
She said she is aware she could got into labor any moment – although she said she hopes to win an Olympic medal before the baby comes.
"If I won the medal, I will see this is as yours, as you helped Mummy so much," Taibi said, speaking of the baby. "Maybe you give me more strength, more stability and more confidence."
Being pregnant means the 29-year-old Taibi has to get in and out of a special suit and belt for practice, but that is only one challenge: She is also drawing overwhelming attention that threatens her concentration ahead of competition.
She said her husband helps her remain calm and focused on the positive.
"When you think negative things, it will give you more stress. Then it will make your anxiety greater, and then you cannot handle the stress and the situation," Taibi said. "It makes you less confident of yourself and less focused on yourself."
To her parents, the mom-to-be is already a champion.
"Whatever happens, I’m satisfied already," her father, Mohammed Taibi, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Friday from the family home in northern Malaysia.
"I’m proud of her. I’ve told her: If you can compete in the Olympics, that’s such an achievement already – all the more when you’re pregnant," "We’re her family, so we support her. We’ll be praying for her," he said.
He said he and Taibi’s mother would be watching on television.
Taibi is ranked 47th in the world and won two golds at the Southeast Asian Games in 10-meter air rifle and 50-meter rifle in November. She finished fifth in 10-meter rifle at the Asian Championships in January to earn a spot on Malaysia’s Olympic team.
Taibi also reached qualified for the 50-meter three-position event, but she decided against competing in two Olympic events.
Bahya Mansour Al Hamad of the Qatar Olympic shooting team carries her country’s flag during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Getty Images)
- 1) WE ALWAYS ASK: Why was I TESTED?
- AL-QURAN ANSWERS: "Do men think that they will be left alone saying,'We believe', and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false." [29:2-3]
- 2) WE ALWAYS ASK: Why I never get what I wanted?
- AL-QURAN ANSWERS: "It is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing, which is bad for you. But Allah knows, while you know not." Surah Al-Baqarah [2:216]
- 3) WE ALWAYS ASK: Why was I burdened this way?
- AL-QURAN ANSWERS: "Allah does not place a burden to a soul greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns." Surah Al-Baqarah [2:286]& " So verily, with every difficulty there is relief: (repeated) Verily, with every difficulty there is relief." Surah Al-Insyirah [94:5-6]
- 4) WE ALWAYS ASK: Why am I losing hope?
- AL-QURAN ANSWERS: "So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: For you will be superior if you are true in Faith." Surah Al-Imran [3:139]
- 5) WE ALWAYS ASK: How can I face it?
- AL-QURAN ANSWERS: "O you who believed! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allah that you may prosper." Surah Al-Imran[3:200] & "And seek(Allah's) help with patient, perseverance and prayer: It is indeed hard, except to those who bring a humbly submissive (to Allah)." Surah Al-Baqarah [2:45]
- 6) WE ALWAYS ASK: What do I get from all these?
- AL-QURAN ANSWERS: "Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and properties (in exchange) for that they will have the garden (of Paradise)..." Surah At-Taubah [9:111]
- 7) WE ALWAYS ASK: To whom could I depend?
- AL-QURAN ANSWERS: "(Allah) suffice me: there is no god but He: On Him is my trust- He the Lord of the Throne (of Glory) Supreme." Surah At-Taaubah [9:129]
- 8) WE ALWAYS ASK: But I can't take it anymore!
- AL-QURAN ANSWERS: "...and never give up hope of Allah's Soothing Mercy; truly No one despairs of Allah's Soothing Mercy. except Those who have no faith." Surah Yusuf [9:87]& "Despairs not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives All sins for He is Often- Forgiving, Most Merciful." Surah Az-Zumar [39:53]
- I need to keep reading this over and over right now.
Sudanese Muslims attend a Qur’an lesson around a fire during the holy month of Ramadan, in Omdurman, Sudan, on July 26, 2012. (Reuters)