In August 1997, when Lieutenant Nur Suryani was schooling at Simpang Pulai, Perak, she was given the opportunity to participate in the audition to join Police Cadet. She was only 15 years old and her father, Mohd Taibi, back then a Malay Army Soldier or better known as Tentera Askar Melayu, encouraged her to pick up shooting. He used to guard the weapons at the Malay Army. Prior to the audition, she was active in Taekwondo, hockey and volleyball at school. The first weapon she used was a pistol and later she picked up the rifle.
Within a short span of a year, in 1998, she competed in Sukan Malaysia (SUKMA) in Selangor. At 16 years old, she shot the rifle and won herself a Bronze medal. She had two trainers : Peter Gordon Fehe and Felix Ho, both of whom she spoke fondly of. Both of them helped building her shooting capabilities in her early days for 50 meter range. In 1999, she was busy with the last national examination at school, locally known as Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).
In year 2000, Suryani pursued her diploma in Health and Fitness at UiTM and joined the national shooting team. That was when she got her first international exposure; from Thailand Open to SEA Shooting Championship in Bangkok, Thailand. During subsequent years, she was juggling between her studies and shooting. With high determination to succeed, in 2001, she won the Gold medal at the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. As her studies was important to her, she completed her diploma on schedule in 2002.
Suryani wanted to continue her degree in sports science, which inevitably a challenge to any high performing rising athletes. She managed her time well, juggling both her studies and training. She was already receiving good support from via Majlis Sukan Negara since year 2000, where she got training at the Subang Shooting Range every Saturday and Sunday while at UiTM. She also swam to keep her body fit and strong during university days. This is the regime she went through when she decided to pursue her degree in Sports Science in 2005. In 2008, she had to choose whether or not to focus on her degree at Universiti Putra Malaysia or improve her performance in shooting. It was a tough decision as both her studies and training require a lot of time and attention.
Her participation in the air rifle at International Competitions intensified in 2006 when she participated in:
- 2006 18th Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia : Bronze Medal
- 2010 19th Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India : Gold Medal
- 2012 Summer Olympic – Competed for 10 meter air rifle
She has inspired a lot of women across the globe and has made many mothers proud. She was eight months pregnant when she made headlines at international level competing in the Summer Olympics 2012. She was very driven and motivated even though, physically, she was heavy carrying baby Dayana. Dayana has an impressive flexibility and is almost two years old now.
Olympian Suryani, qualifies for the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland on the 23 July — 3 August 2014 and is gunning for the gold medal. She worked hard to qualify for the upcoming Commonwealth Games and is eyeing for another opportunity to participate in the Olympics at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016. Shooting requires a lot of self-discipline as it is an individual game and takes a lot of personal effort to qualify for international level competitions like the Olympic Games. She claims mental and physical strength are equally important in this sports.
Lieutenant Suryani joined the Navy as a naval logistics officer in 2008. At Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia (TLDM), she is involved in the training unit at Jalan Semarak, Kuala Lumpur. In 2011, she ended her single life and got married to Marhazli, a police officer. They are blessed with an Olympian baby daughter, Dayana. Suryani speaks dearly of her husband who has been the pivotal strength in supporting her sporting career. Her family does recreational activities twice or three times a week together at parks.
Suryani, now 32, will continue to push herself to achieve her fullest potential. It took her seven (7) months to get back into the range after delivering her first child. It was certainly not easy for her or any other mother Olympians to compete with other rising athletes. A good shooter needs to be able to focus well and have a stable, strong build. She trains every morning and in the afternoon she goes to the gym or swim to build physical strength. Otherwise, her husband would take her and Dayana to the park for light training.
Suryani is very supportive about fitness for muslim women. She too supports Nashata’s efforts in promoting fitness for our sisters – through products, stories and our many other efforts to help women to have an active lifestyle.
She wants to proof to herself she could do it. So let’s support Olympian Suryani, a lieutenant, a hijabista, a mother, a wife – as she truly inspires the muslim and mother athletes. We all have choices to achieve our dreams, and with Allah’s will and support from family, friends and the government, InsyaAllah – no matter how many other titles you carry, be it a mother and a wife – you can do it!
May she bring back the GOLD medal from the Commonwealth Game this coming August!