Shooting: James Huckle and Jonathan Hammond fail to reach men's 50m rifle prone final


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The Independent Online

Great Britain shooters James Huckle and Jonathan Hammond both failed to make the final of the men's 50m rifle prone this morning.

Huckle, 22, from Essex, could not emulate his room-mate Peter Wilson - who gripped the nation yesterday afternoon when he won gold in the double trap -shooting a below-par 591 out of 600 in qualifying.

Hammond, 32, who was born in Aberdeen but now lives in West Virginia, fared a little better by shooting 593, but he was still two points short of making the shoot-off for this afternoon's final.

And they were a long way behind Sergei Martynov from Belarus, who equalled the word record with a perfect round of 600 to lead by one from Belgium's Lionel Cox going into the final.

Huckle admitted he had nobody to blame but himself as his technique began to desert him after the opening round.

"It was tough today," he told Press Association Sport.

"Conditions-wise it was probably one of the best days we've seen on the range, although the wind is flicking about it never got too much strength up, especially at the start of the match.

"I started with 100 which was a great start and I felt solid, but I had a few shots that didn't go where I thought they would go and I could feel my technique slipping a bit.

"I tried to stay calm but if you start to make mistakes you get punished pretty quickly.

"You have to relax and keep focused, but I didn't know what was wrong with my technique so I couldn't correct it enough.

"So I stood up, went back down, refocused and I was absolutely fine. I ended with 100, 99, 99 which is a more than respectable finish - if I did that earlier it would have been fine."

Hammond, who came 34th at the Beijing Games four years ago, found the conditions tougher.

He told Press Association Sport: "I can definitely shoot a lot higher but the conditions were really tricky out there, the atmosphere, the environment, the wind.

"It's a solid score and I'm fairly happy with my own performance, and it's a fantastic experience being out there in that environment.

"I probably made a few mistakes, got the wind wrong a couple times, but I'm only two points away from the final, it's all part of the learning curve and something I can build on."

Both shooters get another crack at glory when they go in the rifle three positions, prone, kneeling and standing, on Monday.