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Feature: Serbian shooter Sekaric: I will be back in London
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08:30, August 14, 2008

When the regretful mother told her kids that she didn't get any medal from the Beijing Olympics, the children were skeptic. "How come?!" they said.

"This is just not my Olympics," said Jasna Sekaric from Serbia on Wednesday.

The 43-year-old veteran shooter finished her 25-meter pistol qualification with 578 points. Ranked 21st, she failed to advance into the final.

At the 10-meter air pistol event three days ago, she was the sixth with 480.9 points.

Her Olympic journey is over. Empty-handed.


Like famous Chinese sharpshooter Wang Yifu who is now coach of the national shooting squad, Sekaric is equally widely known in her country Serbia.

The athlete who carried the national flag at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony had been loaded with hopes from her compatriots of the young eastern European country.

"I've been doing the sport for 20 years, and I was always expected to win by my country and my people," she said.

Living in the war-ravaged city of Belgrade, Sekaric started shooting pistol in the end of 1983.

Her Olympic experience could be dated back to 1988.

She well remembered that interesting experience.

"People asked me, 'what do you expect'? I said, 'a gold medal'. They were surprised -- how dare you say that? It's Olympics," the lady recalled and laughed.

But Sekaric, who renewed world record twice before, had every reason to say so.

In Seoul, the debutant not only grabbed gold medal in the 10-meter air pistol but got bronze in the 25-meter pistol.

Later Olympic journeys of the markswoman were always fruitful: a silver from Barcelona, one from Sydney and one from Athens.

But she became increasingly sober-minded.

"When I experienced more, I began to realize that Olympic is different. I know the competitions are close, you should make the final first, then a medal."


This time Sekaric was determined to win, so determined that she would like to change her long-term tradition.

In her home there were no medals on the wall. She kept them all in a box.

But the dark-haired shooter said, "I will have them on the wall if I get medals back from here."

A mother of a 10-year-old girl and a six-year-old boy, she noted that her family gave her great support. "I didn't change my training schedule after being a mother," she said contentedly, "They (the kids) are not young any more... So I can have training every day."

In fact, her kids are always proud of Sekaric, as even their little friends in the school or kindergarten know her.

Therefore the kids, young as they are, know what an Olympic medals means to their mom, for which she didn't have much time to play with them.

"If I can win a medal, then I can show it to the kids and say, see, this is what I am working for," her ambition was ignited.

Before her trip to Beijing, she asked her mom to take care of the children.

And the granny would take them to the countryside to have a vacation.

It was like a ritual. "Last time in Athens, they were there watching me on TV. So this time, they said, 'we will go to the same place, which may bring you luck'."

This time, however, it seemed failed. The kids are bound to be disappointed.

To make up, the mom said she bought a set of Olympic mascots -- the Fuwas -- to her children.

"And I will have a hard time to explain why I didn't bring back the medals," she made a grimace.

Seriously, she believed shooting a very hard sport.

"In the other sports like basketball or something, you're fighting with someone, but in this sport, everyone is shooting by his own. You have to fight with yourself," she said.

However, the unrealized dream prompted her to fight with herself again on the Olympic arena.

"I will be back in London," she said.

Hopefully next time, she wouldn't let down her two little faithful fans.


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