OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Ling banks on experience for Rio
By Barrie White, Sportsbeat, London 2012
GREAT Britain men’s shooter Ed Ling is looking forward to banking all his experiences as he failed to qualify for the trap final at London 2012.
LOOKING FORWARD: James Huckle, Ed Ling and Jonathan Hammond could not progress to finals but are eager for Rio Games
The 29-year-old, whose prior Olympic experience was at Athens in 2004, finished 21st scoring 118 after a poor final round, where he missed four shots which cost him qualification.
But the Taunton-born shooter insists he thoroughly enjoyed his London 2012 experiences and wants to go to his third Games in Rio in four years time.
“I definitely want to go to Rio,” said Ling, who shot 25 in his penultimate round. “Every time you go out and compete it’s another experience under your belt. It’s massively helpful.
“Just being here – the experience. It’s been really fantastic. I realised that I needed to hit all of them to stand a chance.
“I missed the first target out. The light was rolling up and down a little bit so I just doubted where I was looking. Once you start to doubt, that’s it.
“The crowd have been absolutely the best thing. I’ll never forget the crowd here.”
Meanwhile, James Huckle and Jonathan Hammond both failed to qualify for the 50m rifle three positions final at the Royal Artillery Barracks.
Huckle finished in 25th place, with a score of 1162 and Hammond 41st out of 41 with 1142, but both were happy with their efforts and are already planning for Brazil.
“Hopefully I will make it to Rio,” said Hammond. “I’m learning and improving and getting more experience of a multi-sport event.
“There is a lot of exposure and media and part of the learning curve is learning how to deal with these things.
“There were some good bits, but overall it was not my best day. I didn’t have big expectations – it was tricky.
“The conditions were hard and I was struggling a little with my balances. I was definitely more relaxed coming in compared to the first match, though.”
Huckle believes he has become more accustomed to the big events through the Olympics and is looking forward to the rest of his Games experience.
He said: “I gave it my all – I got better at dealing with the pressure. I really matured as an athlete during the Games.
“After the preliminary rounds it was not too good. I needed to shoot above 390 and I was making steady 96s. It was the kneeling – it is always down to that. If I had put in an above-average score I’d have been in the final.
“It has been a crazy week. I mean, wow, this is the biggest event and it is like being in a dream, from signing in at the Village to getting down to work and signing autographs.
“The crowds have been so great – clapping every shot. I am going back to see family but coming back to enjoy the rest of the week.”
© Sportsbeat 2012