London: The UAE’s challenge in double-trap shooting ended with Shaikh Juma Bin Dalmouk Al Maktoum finishing 13th overall at the end of three rounds of qualifying at the Royal Artillery Barracks here on Thursday.
Shaikh Juma shot rounds of 42, 45 and 46 to end with a total of 133 in a field of 23 shooters. The field was one short after Dominican Republic shooter Sergio Pinero did not start.
Mentored by 2004 Athens Games gold medallist Shaikh Ahmad Hasher Al Maktoum and coached by Rafael Mukuamediarov, the UAE shooter took up shooting only in June 2010.
Shaikh Juma’s performance comes after one of the UAE’s three other shooters, Shaikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, failed to make it to the men’s skeet final at the same venue on Tuesday.
However, Kuwaiti shooter Fahad Al Deehani was still in the running for a medal when he finished joint second with Russian Vasily Mosin after scoring a total of 140 via scores of 47, 47 and 46 during his three visits to the range.
Ending at the top of the pack was Great Britain’s Peter Wilson, who is also coached by Shaikh Ahmad, with a total of 143 from rounds of 48, 48 and 47.
Meanwhile, India’s world number one Ronjan Sodhi blamed a lapse in concentration for his shock exit from the event.
“It was a temporary lapse in concentration and that has cost me a lot,” Ronjan told media as he walked away disappointed with scores of 48, 44 and 42 for a total of 134, which meant he finished 11th.
Much was expected of the Indian after he won two silver medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and a gold at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. In 2011, he became the first Indian to successfully defend a World Cup title, for which he was presented with the Arjuna Award by the Indian Government.
Currently ranked No.1 in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) world rankings, Sodhi was expected to be among the top contenders in London. After holding the top spot at the end of the first round with a score of 48, Sodhi slipped in the second round with a 44.
And then, in the third round, loud clapping from a section of the crowd “distracted” the shooter as he missed three successive targets to slip out of contention. “I allowed my mind to stray and that is my mistake. I lost my focus,” the 32-year-old admitted.
The UAE’s attention in shooting will now turn to Dhaher Al Aryani, who will compete in the trap event on August 5 and 6.
Meanwhile, the UAE’s weightlifter Khadija Mohammad will compete on Friday afternoon in the women’s 75kg category. She arrived in London on Tuesday with her coach Najwan Al Zawawi.
With the football team returning to the country in the early hours of Friday after ending at the bottom of Group A with two losses and a draw, the triple jumper Mohammad Abbas and 1,500m runner Betlhem Deslagn Belayneh will be final two athletes from the UAE yet to compete at the Games.
Belayneh will try to make it to the 1,500m semi-finals on August 6, while Abbas will take part in qualifying at 10.45am on August 7.