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UAE's al-Maktoum wins historic gold

August 17, 2004 18:49 IST
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Ahmed al-Maktoum entered the Olympic record books as the first ever medallist from the United Arab Emirates when he blasted to men's double trap shooting gold on Tuesday.

A member of Dubai's ruling al-Maktoum family and a former national squash champion, his final tally of 189 points equalled the Olympic record set by Australian Mark Russell at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

India's Rajyavardhan Rathore took the silver, that country's first medal of the Games, while China's Zheng Wang collected bronze.

Al-Maktoum's accuracy was astonishing as he blasted into the final with an Olympic qualifying record score of 144 points, six clear of Sweden's Hakan Dahlby.

He set a world record-equalling standard until, with the title effectively in the bag and a comfortable lead to cushion him, his aim wavered.

He missed one target, his achievement seemingly playing on his mind as the competition came to a conclusion with al-Maktoum wrapped in his national flag.

Briton Richard Faulds, the reigning champion, failed to qualify for the final. He managed to score only the 13th equal best tally in the qualifying session at the hilltop Markopoulo shooting centre, with just the top six going through for a shot at the medals on a windy afternoon.

Faulds, who won a dramatic shootoff for gold in Sydney, had been one of Britain's brightest hopes of a medal.

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