Eight-time Paralympian Di Coates narrowly missed out on a place in the final in her opening shooting competition earlier today, on day one of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
The 58-year-old finished ninth in the women’s R2 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event at the Royal Artillery Barracks but a top-eight place was needed to progress to the final.
Her ParalympicsGB team-mates Karen Butler and Mandy Pankhurst also missed out on the final in 12th and 16th respectively.
Coates was on target for a place in the final scoring 99, 98 and 98 out of the maximum 100 in the opening three rounds in qualification, but then shot 94 for the last round. With a total of 389, she missed out on a top-eight place by two points.
Afterwards she said: “I was fine to start with and then the last two shots were not so good. My nerves got to me at the end.
“It’s a disappointment, I was trying to keep it together, but it just didn’t work for me today.”
She said it was not the time to decide whether she will aim to compete in Rio. “Let’s get today out of the way and I still have another event to go,” she said.
Coates also goes in the mixed R3 10m Air Rifle Prone on Saturday.
Karen Butler, who’s competing at her fourth Paralympic Games, shot 97, 97, 95 and 95 for a total of 384 to finish 12th in the qualification round.
“It was tougher than I thought it would be today. It was a little daunting to start with, but then I got my focus,” she said. “I would have had to shoot a personal best to get into the final and I was about four points down on my average.”
Mandy Pankhurst shot 95, 94, 94 and 97 for 380 and 16th place in her first taste of Paralympic action.
“It’s been a very special experience and to make the final would have been the icing on the cake,” she said.
“I know realistically what my capabilities are and I knew the strength of the opposition. I kept my focus, even with all of the attention we’re not used to having.”
The Women’s Sports Magazine
Image credit: onEdition