Hagen Topacio found his shooting touch a little too late, winding up sixth overall in the trap event of the 18th Asian Games shooting championships at the Jakabaring Sports City range in Palembang, Indonesia, on Monday.
Topacio, who finished in a tie for fifth place with Chinese-Taipei’s Yang Kungpi in the elimination with 118 points each, missed three of his first five shots in the medal round and was the first to bow out in the six-man finals with a score of 18 points out of 25 targets.
Ironically, the Pinoy marksman had earlier beaten the Taiwanese, 5-4, in the shoot-off for sixth place, but the latter found himself in the zone to capture the gold medal with a world record-tying score of 48 points out of a possible 50.
India’s Lakshay Lakshay took the silver with 43 points, while South Korea’s Ahn Daemyong settled for bronze with 30, in the event witnessed by PH deputy chief of mission Manny Cabili and Philippine Olympic Committee auditor Jonne Go, who had just arrived just a few hours before the event in this South Sumatran provincial
“I couldn’t get my proper rhythm in the first ten shots and only found in my last ten shots, so that’s the story of the finals,” said Topacio, who still looked upbeat despite the loss.
“I feel somewhat vindicated kasi nakapag-finals ako,” added the shooter, who had had forgettable outings during his appearances of the 2010 Guangzhou and 2014 Incheon editions of the continental sports showcase.
Topacio declined to blame the shooting conditions, saying: “The range is fantastic, the weather is fantastic. If we miss, that is on us shooters.”
Earlier, Jayson Valdez and Amparo Acuna bowed to superior opposition and failed to go beyond the eliminations of the men’s and women’s 10-meter air rifle event, respectively.
After five rounds, Valdez languished in 17th place out of 44 entries with a score of 618.6 points, which, however, was a new national record for the bespectacled shooter.
A 2017 Malaysia Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist, Acuna was mired in 40th spot in a field of 45 shooters with a paltry tally of 603.7 points.
Both of them hope to improve on their respective performances in the 50-meter rifle three-position on Tuesday.