When a man has been “shooting” for the “stars” in the last twelve years, one would expect him to be emotional in only his third Olympics, compared with 70 per cent of his competitors who have “shot” for over two decades and more. T&T’s Roger Daniel arrived at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich Arsenal, expectant and he started with an outstanding first round, but then he seemed to lose his stride and with it he lost momentum. He regained his touch late on the sixth and final round, shooting four consecutive inner circles perfect 10’s. However, it was all to late and he failed to qualify for the mens 10m air pistol final at the London Olympics. Daniel’s final score of 568, placed him in an overall position of 36th; uncannily, that was the same position he finished in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in this same event. His personal best of 586 would have qualified him for the quarterfinal, as the eight place finisher had a score of 583.
However, just as Daniel, this day had started off looking quite promising for me as well. I finally was able to get a good night’s rest even though it meant skipping breakfast. But that was okay...or at least so I thought. I followed a recommended route to Woolwich Arsenal, however, on this occasion the problem was not the recommender, but rather the number of stops and transfers from underground trains to overhead trains. In the end, it must have taken around 75 minutes from the hotel to the final stop. And just as I breathed a sigh of relief, the sign outside the train centre stated Royal Artillery—20 minutes away. In the end, after some twists and turns and with the help of a West Indian immigrant (I think), I was able to reach my destination.
Roger said, “Today I felt really positive before the event and I really hyped up myself to go and have a great performance. When I started I realised I could do this so I talked to myself positively. I really started off positively. During the shoot I encountered some challenges, and I was trying to adjust.” However, this strong man who is totally professional in his approach, appreciates he cannot change the past. His score (568) was way below his best effort. In the end, Jongoh Jin from the Republic of Korea, won with a score of 688.2, with Italy’s Luca Tesconi second with a score of 685.8 and Andra Zlatic of Serbia third with a score 685.2.