Topacio Fires 71, Winds Up Third in Trap Shooting
PALEMBANG—Hagen Topacio overcame a shaky start but came storming back to score 71 points and wind up in a tie for third with six others after the first three rounds of the trap event as the Asian Games shooting championships fired off at the Jakabaring Sports City range here on a bright and sunny Sunday.
Vying in a field of 30 entries, Hagen was off in the first round, gunning down 21 clay pigeons, but regained his bearings to hit all of his 25 flying targets in the succeeding two rounds, finishing one point behind joint leaders Manavjit Sandhu Singh of India and Pakistan’s Aamer Iqbal, who both shot identical 72s.
There are two more qualifying rounds on Monday, with the top six shooters after five rounds advancing to the semis, and then the finals also on the same day.
As his wont, the stocky but solidly-built Topacio, 28, declined to be interviewed until his performance is over.
Topacio is seeking redemption after dismal outings in his two previous Asian Games appearances in Guangzhou, China and Incheon, South Korea, in 2010 and 2014, respectively.
Suffering from an early onset of dengue, the shooter placed 28th in the Guangzhou edition four years ago.
Topacio will be seeking to end the country’s 16-year-old medal drought since Jethro Dionisio bagged an individual bronze medal in trap while teaming up with Eric Ang and Jimmy Recio in capturing the team bronze in the 2002 Busan Asian Games.
Scheduled to see action likewise on Monday in the men’s and women’s 10-meter air rifle qualifying events were Jason Valdez and Amparo Acuna, respectively.