Commonwealth Games 2014: Dan Rivers wins bronze in 10m air rifle
Elena Allen won Wales' second medal of the Games when she took silver in the women's skeet
Friday 25 July 2014
Dan Rivers won a bronze medal for England at the Commonwealth Games in the 10m air rifle at the Barry Buddon shooting centre in Dundee.
Rivers, 23, from Didcot, had qualified for the final with a Games record score ahead of team-mate Ken Parr in second.
But the duo were usurped by Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra and Abdullah Baki of Bangladesh in a tense encounter.
Rivers made sure of England's first shooting medal of Glasgow 2014 when he held his nerve to score 10.1 in a shoot-off with India's Ravi Kumar, who could only manage 9.6, after the pair finished level after 16 shots.
However, having fought back to tie with Baki after 18 shots, his 9.4 was bettered by his opponent's 9.8 meaning Rivers had to settle for bronze.
Bindra, the 2008 Olympic champion, eventually took gold to win a ninth Commonwealth medal, with Baki picking up silver.
Parr, 26, from Croydon, finished fifth.
Rivers compared his medal-winning shot to a penalty shoot-out in football.
"The heart rate, as soon as you see you are tied on the screen, it just goes up even more," he told Press Association Sport.
"You just have to pick your timing, go between the beats, and do your best. Nerves of steel? Or hit and hope? We try to train under pressure but on this scale nothing compares. It's like a penalty shoot-out in front of a packed stadium."
Rivers also goes in the 50m three positions event and the 50m rifle prone later in the week, and actually rates this event as his weakest of the three.
Likewise, Parr has two more chances to get himself on the podium.
"I'm bit disappointed really," he told Press Association Sport. "I let a couple of bad shots go and you get punished in these finals.
"Dan and I shot really well this morning, finishing top two. I thought I had a British record until I saw he was above me. But when it comes to the finals that counts for nothing. It's great that Dan got a medal, though. "
Mike Bamsey of Wales made the final but could only finish seventh.
On the shotgun range Elena Allen won Wales' second medal of the Games when she took silver in the women's skeet.
The 42-year-old, who was born in Russia, went one better than her pairs bronze in Melbourne 2006 but was edged out in the gold medal match by Australia's Laura Coles.
Allen dropped three shots in the final but 27-year-old Coles nailed 14 of her 16 of her clays to top the podium.
England's Sarah Gray, 27, who knocked out her 16-year-old team-mate Amber Hill in the qualifying shoot-off for the semi-final, suffered disappointment in the bronze medal match, beaten into fourth by Andri Eleftheriou of Cyprus.
Allen, whose husband Malcolm is a medal hope in the men's skeet, said: "I'm very happy. It's nice to walk away with something.
"I like shoot-offs - I always seem to be in them. The only hard thing was it was a long time sitting around on a very long day.
"I'd like to achieve more and win more medals. I'm not retiring any time soon.
"My husband is everything - he coaches me, he's my psychologist, my masseuse, my physio, my everything. It was a team effort."
Gray, from Ashford, Kent, was able to take plenty of positives despite coming so agonisingly close to adding to England's medal tally.
"Everyone wants a medal, but I'm thrilled with how I performed today," she told Press Association Sport.
"It's my first Commonwealth Games, my first major event shooting with a big crowd. I was as nervous as anything in my first round this morning, so to make the final and to shoot that well... I'm just really pleased.
"Obviously there is room for improvement, but it's a work in progress and it's going in the right direction.
"It was tough to knock Amber out. If I didn't win gold she was the only person I wanted to win it, but when you are shooting you can't think 'that's Amber'. It comes down to hard work and luck at the end of the day."
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