Glasgow: Shooter Harpreet Singh today blasted the "faulty lighting system" at the Barry Buddon Centre, saying it cost him the gold medal since the penalty he copped due to a delayed shot was a result of that defect. Harpreet had to be content with a silver in the 25m rapid fire pistol event.
"There was problem in the lighting system. Because of the faulty lighting, the first shot was delayed and because of that my fifth shot was out of time and I had to be docked a penalty point. That made the difference. Had it not been that, I would have been in a better position to win the gold," a visibly disappointed Harpreet said after the event.
"I made a complaint but the judges said it was ok. So I cannot do anything. There was pressure on me after that." A shooter gets four seconds after the red light on the target turns green, signalling to shoot.
The six-shooter final had eight rounds of five shots each. Disaster struck Harpreet in the sixth round. He was leading by two hits then but could get two hits and was docked a penalty of one hit on account of 'out of time' ruled by the judge. From that dreadful sixth round, Harpreet got just one legal hit.
"It (faulty lighting system) was happening in the qualification round also. I faced lighting problem in the final series of the qualification round," said the Indian Navy employee.
Asked if he was satisfied with the silver, he said, "It is the gold which only counts. But I would say silver is still good, a medal is a medal anyway."
He said he has some technical problems which need to be sorted out before the Asian Games and World Championships. "I still have some technical issues. I did not face any pressure but I have to sort out the technical issues before the events coming up."
Asked about Olympic silver medallist and compatriot Vijay Kumar failing to qualify for the final round, Harpreet said, "It was a disappointment for India. His presence gave me confidence. Unlucky for him." He thanked the Indian Navy for supporting him in the sport."