Shooter Samarakoon targets new Sri Lanka record
Sri Lanka shooter Mangala Samarakoon said he has better hopes of
shattering a new Sri Lanka record in men’s 50m rifle prone event of the
2012 Olympic Games which will be worked off at the historical Royal
Artillery Barracks on Friday (3).
The Royal Artillery Barracks has been fitted out with three striking
temporary indoor shooting ranges for London 2012, which will all be
dismantled and found a new home after the Games.In an exclusive
interview with the Daily News, Samarakoon said he has a better chance of
going for a new Sri Lanka record in Friday’s event than the men’s 10m
air rifle event in which he made a first round exit on Sunday.
“Although I qualified to meet in 10m air rifle event, my pet event
has always been the 50m rifle event. I think I have a better prospect
here to go for a Sri Lanka record,” the Lankan soldier said.
Asked about his unimpressive performance in 10m air rifle event,
Samarakoon said he is not used to the kind of international ranges at
Olympics backhome. “Though we have good international ranges in Sri
Lanka, they are different to what we find here. Had I got a regular
opportunity to train at this type of ranges, I could have well improved
on my personal best,” he said.
Nevertheless, the 31-year-old South Asian Championship gold medallist
is determined to go for his personal best. “I have scored 595 out of 600
as my personal best. If everything goes fine, I will try to better that
This type of experience is of great importance if we are to advance
at international level,” he said.
Samarakoon said it was a great honour to compete at the Olympics and
said he would try to make use of his Olympic experience to win
international events in future. “We have a long way to go. But the
experience we gain here will help immensely. It is a great
encouragement. I am looking forward to my second event with hope and
expectations,” he said.
Though Samarakoon qualified originally only in men’s 10m air rifle
event, the Olympic Games organiseres offered an optional opportunity for
the 370 shooters who are competing to register in another event.
Accordingly, Samarakoon opted to fire at his pet event as the men’s 50
rifle prone event which will be worked off at 9 a.m. local time (1.30
p.m. Sri Lanka time) on Friday.
Out of the 61 shooters who are down to compete in men’s 50m rifle
prone event, Martynov Sergei of Belarus has registered the perfect 600
scores while seven others have entry scores of 599 each - Daniel
Brodmeier (Germany), Jozef Gonci (Slovakia), Jinseop Han (South Korea),
Valerian Sauveplane (France), Eric Uptagraffet (USA), Christian Planer
(Austria) and Weiyi Wang (China).
Gay challenges Jamaicans
Sprinter Tyson Gay, the second fastest man in history, said that he
has set his sights on finding “the missing piece of my heart” by finally
winning an Olympic Games medal.The American speed merchant is likely to
be one of the leading challengers to Jamaican speed machines Usain Bolt
and Yohan Blake in the 100m final on Sunday. The 29-year-old is only the
second person after Bolt to run under 9.7seconds, but his career has
been hampered by injuries. He failed to make the final at Beijing 2008
after his preparation was hit by a hamstring problem. “‘For me this
Olympics is really special. To come here and compete for a medal really
means a lot after I came up short in 2008. There is a lot of pressure
for me, I am not going to lie,” he said.
“There would still be pressure if I did get a medal in 2008, but it’s
a lot more now because I really feel the missing piece of my heart is an
Olympic medal,” he added.
Britain’s golden girls
Great Britain’s Helen Glover and Heather Stanning have won a gold
medal in the women’s Pair - the Host Nation’s first of London 2012 -
while Ukraine took gold in the women’s Quadruple Sculls.The pair became
the first British women to take an Olympic Rowing gold in front of an
ecstatic crowd at Eton Dorney. Australia pipped world champions New
Zealand to win silver but neither crew was able to live with the
blistering pace set by the Britishpair.In a tribute to Britain’s first
home gold medalists, the Royal Mail immediately produced two limited
Eight ejected for match fixing
The organisers took a tough decision to eliminate match-fixing from
Olympics as four pairs of women’s doubles badminton players, including
the Chinese top seeds, have been ejected from the Olympic tournament for
trying to throw matches in an effort to secure a more favourable
The Badminton World Federation, the sport’s governing body, read a
brief statement to a packed throng of media at the Wembley Arena venue
for the sport, saying the players had been disqualified for breaching
two parts of the players’ code: “Not using one’s best efforts to win a
match and conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or
detrimental to the sport.”
Sharapova gains revenge
In last evening’s Olympic tennis action, Maria Sharapova gained
revenge for her Wimbledon fourth-round exit as she defeated Germany’s
Sabine Lisicki in a tight tussle to reach the quarter-finals of the
women’s singles.The match looked set to go the same way when Lisicki
edged a nip-and-tuck tie-break and then went a break up in the second
set, but Sharapova showed her trademark battling qualities to turn
things around and come through 6-7 (8/10) 6-4 6-3 after two hours and 47
“I was really happy I was able to beat her today. Obviously losing to
her a few weeks ago, I was not really happy with the way that I played,
so I wanted to change that result,” the Russian said after her victory.
“Even though I didn’t play my best tennis, I was really happy that I got
through it and I stepped up when I had to,” she said.
Federer in quarters
In men’s events, Roger Federer saw one Olympic title slip away at
Wimbledon today but remained on track for another as he moved into the
quarter-finals of the men’s singles with victory over Denis Istomin.
Federer did not have things all his own way against the Uzbek, who had
the chance to break to lead 6-5 in the first set, but he could not take
it and did not get another one, the world number one coming through 7-5
But Federer and his doubles partner Stanislas Wawrinka in their
goldentriumph at 2008 Olympics had a tough time.They raced through the
first set against experienced Israeli pair Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram
but could not close it out and were beaten 1-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-3. LONDON,