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Burnett 12th at Beijing Olympic Test event

April 9, 2008

Ireland is represented in the Olympic Trap event by Derek Burnett, Philip Murphy and Colin Tanner with David Goulding and Thomas O’Grady in the MQS positions and they are accompanied by the programme support staff of sports psychologist Professor Peter Terry and physiotherapist Judy Murphy.

Arriving in Beijing the squad could not but notice the thick pall of smog sitting over the city and while the temperatures are mild being in and around 20 degrees the smog enveloping the city is constant and immovable. The forecast has rain predicted for the next few days coming up to the start of the Olympic Trap competition but whether this will clear the smog remains to be seen.

The time adjustment of GMT plus eight hours takes its toll early on in the trip and getting sufficient quality rest is difficult. These extra couple of days before the competition are critical to adjusting the body to this new time zone and to ensure that jet lag is not a factor in the competition.  Changes in diet, rest patterns and overall fatigue from travel all need to be worked through the system before we can expect to perform at full strength.

Entry to the competition venue is strictly controlled and for the purposes of testing the logistics and resources required to host this summers Olympics  this ISSF World Cup is being run as though it were the actual games themselves with the same degree of security, administration and timing.

Each step of the competition and the preparations is being timed by Chinese officials to ensure that the final timetable for the games is realistic and achievable. Issues identified now can be addressed in time for the summer and the concerns of competitors and management are taken onboard.

Today Monday 7th April is still a rest day for the squad with some members relaxing by taking a tour of the Great Wall while others such as myself are catching up on the paper work and planning that goes hand in hand with this level of competition.

Every hour of each new day sees more teams arrive at the hotel and today the Kuwait team arrived just after midnight and this morning over breakfast old acquaintances from our earlier training camps were renewed. Tomorrow will see the first opportunity to visit the venue when we will attend for the accreditation process.

Entry to all aspects of the venue and even the breakfast room in the hotel will be strictly limited to accreditation holders. It’s as simple as no accreditation pass, no entry or indeed no breakfast. Access to practice rounds will be limited but by turning up early tomorrow we hope to secure enough places to satisfy our requirements. An early start and a travel time of an hour will hopefully see us to the venue in good time to beat the majority of teams to registration.

Unofficial Training 8th April

Today was an early start with breakfast at 6am and onto the bus en-route to the venue for 6:50. With effect from today official accreditation must be worn by all contingent members at all times in order to access any areas associated with the competition and already some countries have run foul of this by not wearing their id cards and several teams were left sitting on the bus awaiting clearance while the rest of us sped towards the venue which worked out at about an hours travel time from the base hotel.

Upon arrival at the shooting centre we were dropped off at the athletes’ rest area but information is thin on the ground so it was left up to everyone to find their own way around.

First on our agenda for the day was to secure adequate training slots and to arrange for ammunition to train. Peter and I made our way to the competition management office and got first in line for the training slots where we then split up to arrange for the purchase of sufficient ammunition for the day.

The security is so tight at the venue that a guard is placed at the door to the armoury and the ammunition stores and access is strictly controlled and one by one each gun must be visual checked to verify its serial number before being released. A major problem hit all teams when upon purchasing the tokens for ammunition as it turned out that the venue did not have any on site at the moment and while a major storm was brewing over this the local volunteers tried their best to assuage the fear and anxiety that was setting in all around.

After a delay of an hour or there abouts the ammunition arrived and the fears subsided.

Ireland was one of the first squads out on range and the layouts look superb.

A feature of this event is the use of flash targets in the qualification rounds and the targets are filled with green powder for the initial stages and red powder will be used for finals. As in Athens the traps in sue are Laporte but the clays are manufactured locally in China.

The fog/smog is still prevalent and obscures the background quite a bit but the early training did not suffer as a result with both Derek Burnett and Philip Murphy shooting two rounds of practice with each finishing on a score of 49.

Tomorrow sees two further rounds of unofficial training in the afternoon and whilst it hasn’t rained here yet it does look like we will get a spell at some point over the next few days.

 Unofficial Training 10th April

Today dawned cold and overcast, a strange combination of weather is alternating around us requiring constant changes of shooting lens and in layers of clothing. Today was also accompanied by a fine mist again which tested the eyesight as well as the nerves.

Derek and Philip are shooting consistently against a backdrop where the targets are not yet set at regulation distance and heights, and we have seen targets go as far as 85 metres plus. This we hope will be rectified when the jury set the schemes after pre-event training tomorrow. The squad is still finding the new targets difficult to deal with as the green powder is hard to contrast against the background and the issue of using flash targets is proving controversial with the interpretation of a hit varying from layout to layout depending on the range officials in charge. This has led to concern over the consistency of scoring and the element of luck particularly with respect to the officiating.

Pre-event Training 11th April

The weather forecast said rain; nature said an overcast start but to follow with bright sunshine. Such is the difficulty of predicting the environment here and the smog of the last few days has lifted and the ranges look spectacular.

As today marks the start of the competition programme with pre-event training the security systems in place kicked into high gear. Security screening took place with the arrival of the bus at the venue when all athletes and officials underent airport security type screening of bags and person. The Chinese are meticulous in their attention to these procedures and they have no shortage of personnel on the ground and at every door and at each section of the venue they have placed teams of volunteers who are constantly checking accreditation. As dress rehearsals for the actual games go, it does not get more realistic.

The squad was one of the first to train with a start at 9am. The scheme was not regulation but it still gave ample opportunity for assessing the condition and readiness of the team. The following rounds were uneventful except for a request on the third round of training that we simulate a final and if necessary initiate a few protests to aid the referees in the preparation. This was an opportunity to test the squad in difficult conditions and they came through it well.

Following training the support team stayed behind to participate in the opening ceremony which was hosted in the finals hall. A celebration of Chinese culture followed with martial acrobatics and a spectacular display of dragon dancing.

Tomorrow sees the start of the competition with David Goulding the first up of the Irish at 8:30am local time.

Day 1 Qualification 12th April

An early start for the support team who were having breakfast at 6am in order to catch the 6:20am bus to the venue. Today is a holiday in Beijing and the bus got here in record time. Teams are now settling in and preparing for an intense day of competition and the early start is to tie in with the actual timings at the games with each day’s competition finishing at approximately 2:30.

It is interesting to see that Australia’s Michael Diamond has not turned up for the competition even though he was expected to attend and his failure to show must be very disappointing for the Australian team.

It was obvious from the start that the weather was going to play major part in the early rounds as high wind swept across the range left to right accompanied by flurries of rain. Early on David was making the most of the conditions as targets fell away from other shooters and following his first loss at the 9th target he kept going to his 17th where he succumbed to three in a row. David finished up on 19 which all things being even was not a bad start compared to many on the field.

Philip and Derek were up next and from the off Philip was in some difficulty and having had little quality sleep over the previous days he found it hard to get his concentration straight and paid a heavy price for this with an extremely rare score of 18. Derek was also having trouble particularly with the quality of referees. His opening target was a slow pull and Derek pulled off the target to be greeted with the referee calling it lost. A protest ensued which Derek won but this inauspicious start unsettled him and the repeat target was missed. Having recovered well Derek went on but was caught three more times with slow pulls and had to settle for an opening 21.

Colin also fared badly with a 19 on the opening round as the weather was taking its toll and reducing the competition to a war of attrition while best of the Irish in the opening rounds was Thomas O’Grady who made the most of the conditions to post an excellent 23.

The second series of rounds was also going to be difficult and David kept his pace when repeating his opening score of 19.

Philip however came in stronger with the exception of a slight speed bump which cost him three targets in a row at 9, 10 and 11 after which he went on to finish with a score of 22.

Thomas kept his fighting spirit intact and came romping back with a 22. The second series took a different tack especially for Derek when with a lull in the wind and a brighter period of weather in place he took advantage of the conditions with a straight run of 25  while Colin fought back with a 21.

The final round of the day saw Derek slip back with a 22 following a back to back miss mid way and the rest of the squad fought back hard with Philip finishing with a 21, Tom 22, David 20 and Colin on 21.

General consensus on the day would indicate that the targets have a tendency to lose momentum very suddenly after achieving peak flight and then to dip suddenly towards the ground. The prevailing wind exacerbates this action and throughout the day the slim amount of straights shot would back this opinion.

The amount of scores being given purely on the basis of visible powder and no visible breaks was far too high to have confidence in the accuracy of the scoring and as the use of flash targets in the main competition was controversial to begin with I doubt that the story will end here.

Consequently, the refereeing has caused a few concerns but it would appear to be a lack of practical experience by the referees which is the root cause. The handling of protests and malfunctions has tested the referees but they have come through with assistance from the juryand many stories abound of targets which have not been hit but still scored; such is the confusion as to the use of powder. The acuity of the eyesight of the referees is being tested and they are erring on the side of caution while they are receiving very little help from the side referees who appear to be taking their cue from the referee on decisions.

Tomorrow sees Derek take to the line first and all we can hope for is a smoother start and more consistent programme than today.

Day 2 Qualification 13th April

Today dawned far better than yesterday with bright sunshine and no wind. Such a contrast from yesterday it was like another world.

First up today was a simultaneous start at 8:30am was Derek, Philip and Thomas.From the off, Derek was in control today and steamed ahead until he shot over a low left from stand three which never really got any height to its flight. Derek went on to clear the remainder of the round without incident.

Philip also got off to a better start with an opening 23, putting the shadow of yesterday behind him.Thomas couldn’t get going to begin with posting his worst score of the competition at 19 before returning to form with a final 22 while David following a promising start slipped back to a 20 but showing the nature of this event came back to finish on 24.

Colin found himself with a 25 straight but could not maintain it and posted a disappointing 18 for his final round. For the last round Derek came back with a 23 again falling foul to low left hand targets to finish on 115 putting him in a respectable 12th place.

Philip came back with a repeat 23 showing some of the consistency which he found so hard to find yesterday.Overall the scores at this event were low reflecting the difficulty encountered with new targets and a new range.

Individual scores fluctuated widely and consistency was hard to find bur for Mario Filipovic there was a silver lining as he took the gold medal with a qualification score of 188 and final of 24, two targets clear of the rest of the field.

Final Results 13th April 2008.

Rk  Bib No Name Nat Rounds 1  2  3  4  5 Qualification Total   S-Off  Final   Total  Final  S-Off

1 2110 FILIPOVIC Mario SVK 23 25 24 22 24 118 Final shots: 24 142

2 1999 ALIPOV Alexey RUS 22 24 24 24 25 119 Final shots: 21 140+3

3 2256 ERICKSON Bret USA 24 23 25 23 25 120 Final shots: 20 140+2

4 1222 GLASNOVIC Josip CRO 24 24 23 24 24 119 Final shots: 21 140+0

5 1324 SERRANO Jesus ESP 21 23 25 25 25 119 Final shots: 18 137+1

6 1585 PELLIELO Giovanni ITA 25 22 24 24 23 118 Final shots: 19 137+0

7 1698 MEQLAD Naser KUW 24 24 23 23 23 117

8 1573 FABBRIZI Massimo ITA 24 24 23 24 22 117

9 1221 GLASNOVIC Anton CRO 23 24 22 24 23 116

10 1578 FRASCA Erminio ITA 22 24 24 24 22 116

11 1406 BINDRICH Karsten GER 22 22 24 22 25 115

12 1528 BURNETT Derek IRL 21 25 22 24 23 115

13 1317 FERNANDEZ Alberto ESP 21 24 24 23 23 115

14 1689 ALMUDHAF Khaled KUW 23 22 25 22 23 115

15 1892 BOZA Francisco PER 23 24 23 22 23 115

16 2206 ALMAKTOUM Ahmed UAE 24 22 23 24 22 115

17 1376 TRONC Yves FRA 24 25 18 23 24 114

18 2266 MULLINS John USA 23 20 25 22 24 114

19 1686 AL FAIHAN Abdulrahman KUW 22 24 24 20 24 114

20 2261 GRAZIOLI Dominic USA 24 22 21 24 23 114

21 1277 JOERGENSEN Henrik DEN 21 23 25 22 23 114

22 1257 KOSTELECKY David CZE 21 24 24 23 22 114

23 1365 CLAMENS Stephane FRA 22 23 25 23 21 114

24 2011 GURKIN Pavel RUS 23 25 22 23 21 114

25 1900 ANG Eric PHI 22 21 23 23 24 113

26 1504 SANDHU Manavjit Singh IND 21 23 22 23 24 113

27 1929 SILVA Manuel POR 20 24 24 22 23 113

28 1426 RUETTGEROTH Stefan GER 22 24 22 22 23 113

29 1096 SCHMITS Roberto BRA 20 23 24 21 24 112

30 1246 SAVVIDES Phidias CYP 19 22 24 24 23 112

31 1988 THOMPSON Richard Eric RSA 24 24 19 23 22 112

32 1244 LEONTIOU Leontios CYP 20 21 22 24 24 111

33 1006 DE LEIRA E SILV Joao Paulo ANG 20 22 21 24 24 111

34 1753 ONG Chee Kheng MAS 22 19 23 23 24 111

35 1178 LI Yang CHN 20 21 22 25 23 111

36 2077 AMICI Francesco SMR 19 24 22 24 22 111

37 1513 SINGH Mansher IND 20 22 21 23 24 110

38 2177 SHIH Jung Hung TPE 22 17 24 24 23 110

39 1305 MEDHAT Adham EGY 23 20 20 24 23 110

40 1926 AZEVEDO Joao POR 23 23 19 22 23 110

41 2051 LEE Wung Yew SIN 20 23 23 24 20 110

42 1646 JUNG Changhee KOR 23 22 19 23 22 109

43 2017 KOSAREV Maxim RUS 23 20 23 21 22 109

44 1939 KIM Chol Myong PRK 22 22 23 21 21 109

45 2230 NIKANDROV Yuriy UKR 22 20 24 23 20 109

46 1663 LEE Young Sik KOR 19 22 21 23 23 108

47 2179 TSAI Yen Chen TPE 20 20 24 21 23 108

48 1087 MENACHO FLORES Cesar Da.. BOL 21 20 22 23 22 108

49 2198 SINMAZISIK Mustafa Can TUR 21 22 21 22 22 108

50 1863 EDE Graeme NZL 25 21 18 22 22 108

51 1614 KHASSYANOV Victor KAZ 20 22 24 20 22 108

52 1338 KABLE Glenn FIJ 24 22 21 19 22 108

53 1351 KIRVESMAKI Janne FIN 22 22 20 23 21 108

54 1964 AL-ATHBA Rashid QAT 20 21 24 24 19 108

55 1928 FARIA Jose POR 19 21 20 23 24 107

56 1007 DASQUE Juan Carlos ARG 22 19 22 20 24 107

57 1530 MURPHY Philip IRL 18 22 21 23 23 107

58 1134 BIETZ Tye CAN 21 22 19 23 22 107

59 1023 HENWOOD Craig AUS 21 21 22 21 22 107

60 1409 DAMME Rene GER 21 23 19 23 21 107

61 1136 DI SALVATORE Giuseppe CAN 17 24 19 23 23 106

62 2117 VARGA Erik SVK 21 20 19 24 22 106

63 1177 LI Yajun CHN 22 21 22 21 20 106

64 1866 PATON Gavin NZL 21 21 24 20 20 106

65 1308 SHAFIK Ahmed EGY 20 18 21 22 24 105

66 1645 JOO Ip Sang KOR 20 19 20 22 24 105

67 1517 SODHI Birendeep IND 23 22 19 18 23 105

68 2108 CAVARA Roman SVK 20 20 22 21 22 105

69 2302 LE Nghia VIE 21 21 21 20 22 105

70 1861 BROWNE COLE Myles NZL 20 23 21 22 19 105

71 1618 MOGILEVSKIY Andrey KAZ 19 21 21 23 20 104

72 1201 ZHANG Bing CHN 19 22 21 22 20 104

73 1127 RADEV Dimcho BUL 19 21 23 23 18 104

74 1719 SVENTICKAS Rytis LTU 20 19 21 20 23 103

75 2045 CHOO Choon Seng SIN 20 23 21 20 19 103

76 1532 TANNER Colin IRL 19 21 20 25 18 103

77 1242 ELLINAS Georgios CYP 22 20 22 18 19 101

78 1005 CARMO Ricardo ANG 20 18 21 22 19 100

79 2041 AMAT Mohd Zain SIN 20 16 23 21 19 99

80 1058 CARLIEZ Clement BEL 18 20 20 21 19 98

81 2287 GAVRILOV Andrey UZB 17 20 20 17 21 95

82 2137 AL KHATIB Salaheddin SYR 17 22 18 16 21 94

83 2288 KOPILOV Yuriy UZB 20 17 18 21 18 94

84 2222 DENCHYK Vadym UKR 20 23 15 22 14 94

85 1902 CARAG Carlos PHI 20 15 19 20 19 93

86 2307 NGUYEN HOANG Diep VIE 19 19 16 20 19 93

87 1752 NG Beng Chong MAS 16 19 18 17 22 92

88 2289 MAMADJANOV Sherzod UZB 12 19 16 20 22 89

89 2167 CHEN Chieh Tsung TPE 19 18 14 16 20 87

90 2189 MARAJ Anthony TRI 17 15 16 18 19 85

91 1139 GRECO Cosimo CAN 17 18 17 13 19 84

92 1749 LIN Lai Chin MAS 16 15 12 21 19 83

MQS Competition:

Bib No.  Name  Nat Rounds 1  2  3  4  5 Total   S-Off   Remarks

2113 KOVACOCY Marian SVK 22 23 22 23 25 115

1519 SULTAN Anwer IND 23 22 24 20 23 112

1169 GAO Bo CHN 21 21 22 21 23 108

1531 OGRADY Thomas IRL 23 22 22 19 22 108

1505 SANDHU Zoravar Singh IND 20 19 21 21 23 104

1529 GOULDING David IRL 19 19 20 20 24 102

1667 RYU Jong Woo KOR 19 16 21 24 22 102

2109 DURACKA Jozef SVK 18 17 20 23 22 100

1748 ISMAIL Nazree MAS 14 20 18 20 17 89

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