Topacio nails record silver but misses Rio Olympics
Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - November 16, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Trap shooter Hagen Alexander Topacio broke the national mark and got the Philippines to a first-ever podium finish in winning the silver medal in the just concluded Asian Shooting Championships in Kuwait.

The 26-year-old Topacio, a UP public administration graduate, shot 122 of a total 125 targets in the eliminations then fired a perfect 15 in the semifinals before losing the finale to eventual gold medal winner Sik Young Lee of South Korea, 8-12.

Topacio and Sik outshot two Kuwaitis, a Chinese and an Indian in the semifinals.

“Napagod na ako ( I got tired),” rued Topacio in losing his gold-medal showdown with the Korean.

 It was a tremendous feat, setting a new national record (122, surpassing the old standard of 121 by Beijing Olympian Eric Ang) and bringing home a medal – a first for the country in the tough Asian meet.

“It’s fulfilling and it boosted my confidence. It gives me the feeling that we can compete with the elite in Asia and in all parts of the world,” Topacio said in making marks against Olympic and world-caliber shooters from Kuwait, China and South Korea.

A dampener was the IOC executive board’s decision to revoke the Olympic qualifying status of the Asian Championships due to Kuwait’s suspension in the IOC roster.

With an elimination-round score of 122, Topacio would have automatically made the Rio Olympics if not for IOC’s recall of the sanction.

“The plan of the Philippine federation is to appeal my case. But it’s beyond me and it’s beyond our organization. If the Olympic berth is not given, then I will chase the Olympic berth in the next qualifying event,” said Topacio.

“It’s always been my dream to make the Olympics,” said Topacio, who had tried swimming then judo before being hooked with shooting.

The Quezon City resident is hopeful he can get going with his solid performances in Kuwait and earlier in the World Cup in Azerbaijan (where he made 118).

The rising star of Phl trap shooting has been into two Asian Games (2010 in Guangzhou and 2014 in Incheon) and was a part of the Phl team that bagged the bronze medal in the last SEA Games in Singapore.

“I was leading after the fourth round in Incheon. But lacking mental toughness then  I finished 20th,” said Topacio.

He was a lot steadier in Kuwait.

 He fired 49 out of 50 for joint first on Day One then hit 73 of 75 in Day Two for second place in the elims. Thus, he safely made it to the semifinals among six shooters.

With a great momentum, Topacio gunned down a perfect 15 in the semis.

With the gold in sight, Topacio, however, wavered in the finale, knocking down only eight of 15 as against Sik’s 12 of 15.

He insisted, though, that his Olympic dream will live on.

 

ACIRC ASIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS ASIAN GAMES ASIAN SHOOTING CHAMPIONSHIPS BEIJING OLYMPIAN ERIC ANG CHINA AND SOUTH KOREA DAY ONE DAY TWO HAGEN ALEXANDER TOPACIO IF THE OLYMPIC TOPACIO
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with