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Russell Mark voiced concerns over the judging

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Aug 12, 2008.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    Mark takes aims at judging

    Australian veteran Russell Mark voiced concerns over the judging at the Olympic double trap shooting, saying it was fortunate a particularly controversial call did not decide the gold medal.

    The 1996 gold medallist and five-time Olympian also suggested the sport could look at introducing a video referee for the 2012 London Olympics.

    Mark said he did not think the decision during the medal round, which went the way of Chinese bronze medallist Hu Binyuan, was a hometown call although judges would be feeling pressure from the large crowd.

    Hu was credited with hitting a target many thought he'd missed.

    "Everybody stopped ... I'm glad that wasn't for a gold medal, because that's what these Games would have been remembered for, unfortunately," said Mark, who finished fifth and was not suggesting the judging affected his result at all.

    "They're all basically Chinese referees, but they've basically been good referees - I couldn't say there was any bias.

    "That one target in the final - obviously in a final, everyone's got an opinion on it.

    "I'd say towards the end there, he may have been a brave Chinese referee to put his hand up. But it didn't determine the medals, luckily."

    Mark said there were several controversial calls throughout the day's competition and some of the blame lay with the targets that were used.

    "There's clearly some calls there, not for me, for some of the competitors there, that I would be a bit worried about - I'd like to look at the videotape," he said.

    "I would have called the video ref in if we could have. Maybe that's something we can introduce for London.

    "The difference here is these targets are a little bit hard and you'll often see the paint coming out of them instead of a piece coming off the target. They have been hard virtually since we've been here in April."

    Mark had a turbulent day on the way to his fifth place behind winner and good friend Walton Eller of the United States.

    The Australian won this event at the Atlanta Games and was second behind Great British shooter Richard Faulds in Sydney 2000, before missing selection for Athens in 2004.

    Mark was third after two rounds of qualifying, but then had a disastrous third and final round and had to win a four-man sudden-death shoot-off to make the six-man final.

    Then he scored a strong 45 out of 50 in the final to climb one spot from sixth.

    Eller broke Mark's Olympic record of 189, set in Atlanta, with 190 out of 200. Italian Francesco D Aniello was second on 187 and Hu scored 184.

    "He'll remind me about that every time I see him now, he's been a good friend of mine," Mark said of Eller's record.

    This is Mark's fifth Olympics and making the final might encourage him to keep going for another four years.

    The 44-year-old had dedicated the performance to fat, balding, middle-age men around the world.

    "I've got the desire again. Today could have been a real train wreck and I managed to struggle into the last spot in the final," he said.

    "I've learnt something from it. You can teach an old dog new tricks."

    Eller, the youngest of the finalists at 26, said he was rapt after missing the medal round at the last two Games.

    "The big guns were out there. You try not to look, but I knew they were not missing many," he said.
     
  2. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    Judges called hit on missed Chinese shots, says Mark

    VETERAN Australian shooter Russell Mark battled hard for a medal but finished fifth as a judging controversy enveloped the Olympic shooting competition yesterday.

    Chinese competitor Hu Binyuan won bronze in the men's double trap event but few in the stands could truly say he deserved it. On at least three occasions in the tense final stage, Hu was awarded a hit by the Chinese judges despite clearly missing the target.

    On each occasion there seemed little doubt, the crowd stopped roaring on their compatriot and hushed as murmurs of disbelief spread through the grandstand.

    The controversial judging errors - made by local judges - gifted the Chinese shooter a medal and had Mark disappointed in the aftermath.

    "One of them clearly he missed," Mark said. "I don't think anyone out there thought he hit it. If that had have been for a gold medal, I would have been protesting.

    "The referees have to be in unison but there was a lot of doubt about a lot of the shots out there today."

    Mark said he hoped the errors, each benefiting the same competitor, were by accident rather than design. "I'd hate to think that but you get the feeling out there, when someone clearly misses, all the shooters out there can tell if he missed or hit it. Everybody stopped," he said.

    "I'm glad it wasn't for a gold medal because that is all that this Games would have been remembered for unfortunately."

    American Walton Eller - a US Army soldier - took the gold after leading for most of the day and shooting an impressive 190 out of 200, to break Mark's Olympic record. The Australian shot 181 for a fifth-placed finish. Italian Francesco D'Aniello was second.

    But the judging controversy was the talk of the event. Mark also said that the judges had been unable to block out the influence of a raucous local crowd. "The crowd were yelling and calling shots in and out," he said. "It was like a circus out there … It would have been a brave Chinese judge that would have put his hand up [to signify a miss]."

    Mark said he did not wish to use the judging as an excuse for his performance. "The position I finished in today is well above the position I am in the world," he said afterwards, admitting he was "well past my peak" as a shooter but had enjoyed a brief return to the fore of international competition.
     
  3. starshot2b

    starshot2b TS Member

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    Is there no way to protest this? Obviously the event was taped, since was on the internet. Why didn't the Chinese shooter disagree with the call? Can he? Sends a truly wrong message if he accepted an incorrect call so he could medal for his country. MHO only.
     
  4. BMC

    BMC Member

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    Three questionable calls aside, did anyone watching the live feed see the very late dusted target by the Chinese shooter? He must have had a blooper or something because he was starting to pull the gun down when it broke, well after he had shot. Very weird. I wonder if it was that obvious in person.
     
  5. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    BMC, I saw that too, very late... broken...
     
  6. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    I've seen that happen before on a few occasions. Target breaking way delayed after the shot.

    It can happen.
     
  7. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    There seems to be a lot of questionable calls in these Olympics with the exception of the races Phelps has won hands down ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
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