Pregnant Olympian Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi of Malaysia failed to win a medal in the women's 10-meter air-rifle event in the 2012 London Olympics, but the shooter who has succeeded in capturing the hearts of millions around the world did not blame her pregnancy for her showing.
Olympic shooters use their heartbeats as guides for when to fire off their shots, which put the pregnant Suryani at a disadvantage.
"The problem during pregnancy is your resting heart rate goes up," Dr. Jim Pivarnik, a physician who studies pregnant athletes, told Sports Illustrated. "Let's say it's 65 before pregnancy, it could easily be 80 at eight months. So that gives much less time between beats to fire a shot."
But Suryani, 29, refused to use her pregnancy as an excuse for her showing, although she noted her score was not as high as she expected.
"I have two hearts, so maybe I'm stronger," she told Sports Illustrated.
Suryani is set to give birth to a baby girl, whom she's already named Dayana Widyan.
The Malaysian Olympian said her baby appeared to sense when she was competing, noting she did not have the morning sickness that plagued her earlier in the pregnancy or any kicks from Dayana Widyan.
"I talked to her before shooting," Suryani said. "I told her, 'OK, don't move so much, behave yourself, Mommy's ready to shoot, help Mommy to shoot.' I [felt] only three or four kicks today during the competition. She always listens."
As Suryani prepares for the arrival of her baby, she's also hoping to improve upon her showing in the London Olympics. The 29-year-old has her sights set on competing in the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, according to the Associated Press.