Ukrainian shooter Serhiy Kulish missed a medal after committing one of the most extraordinary howls at the Tokyo Olympics by hitting an opponent’s target.
Kulish, who won silver in the 10-meter air rifle event in Rio 2016, had reached the men’s 50-meter rifle final on Monday and was fighting for the podium when the disaster struck. In fourth place with 30 shots, Kulish mistakenly fired at an opponent’s target. After receiving zero points for the shot, he was soon eliminated in eighth place.
“I shot someone else’s target,” Kulish enraged after his early departure from Asaka’s firing range. “I’m not happy. Who shoots someone else’s target? Just people like me.”
The world number two said a wardrobe malfunction was behind his lack of concentration.
“The button on my jacket came loose and I felt some discomfort, but time passed and I had to take a shot,” Kulish explained. “I didn’t realize that I was already aiming at someone else’s target.”
China’s Zhang Changhong won gold with a world record of 466.0 points, with Sergey Kamenskiy (ROC) and Milenko Sebic (Serbia) taking silver and bronze respectively.
Kulish will return empty-handed to Cherkasy, a small city 120 kilometers southeast of Ukraine’s capital, Kiev. The 28-year-old believes that the lack of facilities in his country has affected his country’s shooting medal hopes. “We don’t have a shooting range and that’s a problem,” he said.
“We have to go abroad to train and that is a problem. For now there is no solution, “added Kulish.” I have a shooting range in my city, but it only has five targets, so it is impossible to hold competitions there. There is no place to hold competitions. [or] grow new athletes and that’s a problem. “