Commonwealth Games 2014: Dan Rivers fires Games shooting record but loses in shoot-out agony

Elena Allen, a Muscovite who married Welsh shooter Malcolm Allen, settling in Newport, held her nerve to win a shoot-off against England’s Sarah Gray for a place in the gold-medal match

Carnoustie

Carnoustie has not known a day of shoot-out drama quite like it since 1999, when the Frenchman Jean van de Velde fluffed a three-shot lead at the 18th hole of the Open and proceeded to lose to Aberdonian Paul Lawrie in a three-way play-off.

The celebrated golf town might be far from the madding crowds of Glasgow – 100 miles both literally and metaphorically from the host city of these XX Commonwealth Games, with its hallowed links course and its tranquil setting on the Angus coast – but it could hardly have witnessed more drama on the opening day of the shooting competition yesterday.

It was a day when England beat England in one shoot-out; when another representative in England kit won one shoot-off but lost another, all in the same match; and when a Moscow-born Welshwoman won a shoot-off to claim her adopted country’s third medal of the Games.

The latter scenario unfolded in the final of the women’s skeet. Elena Allen, a Muscovite who married Welsh shooter Malcolm Allen, settling in Newport, held her nerve to win a shoot-off against England’s Sarah Gray for a place in the gold-medal match.

 

In that the 42-year-old missed only three of her 16 shots but her opponent, Australia’s Laura Coles, hit one more. “I’m happy with silver,” Allen said. “A medal is a medal. If you only get into the bronze-medal match, one of you walks away with nothing.”

Gray was left with that empty feeling after losing out on bronze to Andri Eleftheriou of Cyprus and finishing a tantalising fourth. Still, at least she made it to the final, emerging victorious from a three-way shoot-off for the sixth and last final spot.

After Panagiota Andreou of Cyprus missed with her third effort, that came down to a shoot-out between Gray and her England team-mate Amber Hill, the 16-year-old wunderkind from Bracknell, who last year followed in the footsteps of Wayne Rooney, Tom Daley and Andy Murray as BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.

Hill travelled to Scotland with high hopes of finishing among the medals but missed one of the clays with her fifth effort. “I’m please I at least had a shot at making the final,” the teenager said. “I’m sure I’ll learn from this experience.”

There was one medal for England’s shooters – from the roller-coaster ride of the men’s 10m air rifle.

Didcot’s Dan Rivers shot a Games-record score of 623.6 points in qualifying, then found himself in a shoot-off with Ravi Kumar of India to make the top three in the final. The Oxfordshire man scored a 10.1. Kumar fired a 9.6.

Then, with silver at stake, Rivers tied for second place with Abdullah Baki of Bangaladesh. In the one-shot shoot-off he fired a 9.4, his rival 9.8.

Still, at least the Englishman hit the target. Unlike GarethSouthgate, he would not be doing Pizza Hut adverts with a paper bag over his head. He had bronze for consolation, Baki taking silver and India’s Abhinav Bindra gold.

“It’s not often you get shoot-offs,” Rivers reflected. “One today was enough. To get a second was just mental.

“As soon as you see it coming up on the screen that you’re tied, your heart rate just goes up even more. You don’t think your heart can go any faster, but it does. You just pick your timing, go between the beats, and do your best.

“We try and put pressure training on against each other, shooting against the clock, but it’s not on this kind of scale. This is like a penalty shoot-out in front of a fully packed stadium.”

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum