Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Trap Shuts as Faulds Falters in Double Bid

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Trap Shuts as Faulds Falters in Double Bid

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS JONES

BRITAIN'S Richard Faulds was a dejected figure after a disastrous attempt to defend his Olympic gold medal in the double trap shooting competition at the Markopoulo Shooting Centre in the hills outside Athens today.

Faulds was the first of Britain's reigning Olympic champions to attempt another success and a poor start in the three rounds of qualifying undermined his cause and left him sitting slumped up against a concrete wall outside the arena - clearly emotional - having to tell family and friends by mobile telephone about his failure.

However, after regaining his composure, Faulds said: "It's a bitter disappointment and it will take some time to get over this.

There's always four years' time but I'm not making any promises.

"Disasters do happen and it's not just me but others shoot badly. I'm going to have a few months off and make a few decisions about where I want to go."

His obvious distress was in stark contrast to the calm demeanour seen during his three rounds of shooting that showed he was getting progressively better, posting a finish score of 130, but it wasn't good enough to make the final six. He finished joint 13th.

Beside costing Faulds the medal he so cherished, the result is also a body blow to the sport in Britain, which has so far failed to match the gold and silver medals won in Sydney.

That brought a tangible reward in the form of lottery funding of more than [pounds sterling]1.3million and John Leighton-Dyson, the GB team leader, said he would have a tougher battle to keep the money flowing into shooting in the four years building up to the Beijing Olympics.

Leighton-Dyson said: "Of course it's going to impact on us and being shooting, we are not the most popular sport. We have been given an indication that there is a future for us on the world class funding programme and in the last two-and-half years we have won more medals than ever, so it's not all doom and gloom. …

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