Ukrainian shooter Serhiy Kulish missed out on a medal after committing one of the most extraordinary howlers at the Tokyo Olympics by hitting an opponent’s target.
Kulish, who won silver in the 10m air rifle event at Rio 2016, had sailed into Monday’s men’s 50m rifle final and was pushing for a medal at the Asaka Shooting Range when disaster struck. In fourth place with 30 shots fired, Kulish mistakenly fired at a rival’s target. After receiving zero points for the shot, he was soon eliminated in eighth place.
“I am not happy,” he said. “Who shoots into someone else’s target? Only people like me.”
The world No 2 said a wardrobe malfunction was behind his lapse in concentration.
“The button on my jacket came undone and I felt some discomfort, but time passed and I had to make a shot,” he said. “I didn’t notice that I was already aiming for someone else’s target.”
China’s Zhang Changhong won the final gold of the shooting competition with a world-record 466pts, with Sergey Kamenskiy of the Russian Olympic Committee scoring 464.2 for silver and Milenko Sebic from Serbia taking bronze with 448.2. Kulish finished with 402.2.
Kulish believes the lack of facilities back home have affected his country’s medal hopes. “We don’t have a shooting range and that is a problem,” he said.
“We have to go abroad to train and that is a problem. For now there is no solution 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 is a problem.”