2020 Tokyo Olympics: Ukrainian Shooter Eliminated After Firing at Opponent’s Target

by Jennifer Shea

Ukrainian shooter Serhiy Kulish accidentally shot at an opponent’s target on Monday, dashing his hopes of a medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Olympian was taking part in the 50-meter rifle final, and was in fourth place with 30 shots fired when he accidentally hit a competitor’s target.

Kulish dropped out of the Tokyo Games competition as a result of the mishap.

Tokyo Olympics End Differently from Rio for Kulish

Kulish had better luck in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, where he managed to pick up a silver medal. But this time around, in the Tokyo Games, he lost his focus. And the mistake cost him: he got zero points for that shot, dropped to eighth place and was eliminated.

“I am not happy,” Kulish told The Guardian after the event. “Who shoots into someone else’s target? Only people like me.”

Kulish explained that there was an issue with a button on his jacket while he was shooting. And that proved to be his downfall at the Tokyo Olympics.

“The button on my jacket came undone and I felt some discomfort, but time passed and I had to make a shot,” he said. “I didn’t notice that I was already aiming for someone else’s target.”

Ukraine Is Deprived of Shooting Ranges

Kulish seems to think his country could do better in his chosen Olympic event if it actually had a shooting range or two. He said the lack thereof has constrained Ukraine’s chances at a medal. And that’s not just at the Tokyo Olympics, but in general.

“We don’t have a shooting range and that is a problem,” Kulish said. “We have to go abroad to train and that is a problem. For now there is no solution I have a shooting range in my city, but it only has five targets so it is impossible to hold competitions there. There is no place to hold competitions [or] grow new athletes and that is a problem.”

On Monday, China’s Zhang Changhong won the gold in the shooting competition, setting a world record with 466 points. Sergey Kamenskiy of the Russian Olympic Committee took home the silver with 464.2 points, and Milenko Sebic of Serbia won the bronze with 448.2 points.

Kulish finished the Tokyo Olympics with 402.2 points.