Bernard and Chen dig into own pockets for ammo

  • Other Sport
  • Monday, 13 Mar 2006

The last thing Melbourne Commonwealth Games trap shooters Bernard Yeoh and Charles Chen want are for them to get disqualified again for using sub-standard cartridges. 

And a random check earlier in the week was enough to convince them to buy their own ammunition instead of taking the ones given to them by a local supplier. 

Bernard, who came back from London last Thursday to train with his partner Charles, said that they had decided to play it safe by using their own ammunition for the competition beginning on Friday. 

“We checked some of the cartridges and found that they were not within the tolerance level allowed for official competition,” said Bernard in Petaling Jaya. 

“We decided not to take further risk and have made arrangements to use our own ammunition.” 

To buy their preferred cartridges in Melbourne will cost Bernard and Charles about RM2,000. 

But Bernard said they wanted to avoid a repeat of the Manila SEA Games incident where they were disqualified after the pellets in the cartridges were found to be over the stipulated weight tolerance of 24.5gm. 

“In Manila, we got disqualified after they checked our pellets and found out that it was overweight by 0.2gm. Our cartridges were underweight this time,” he said. 

“It could affect our chances as the possibility of missing targets will increase because the range covered when the cartridge is fired is smaller.” 

Although the National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) have earlier given an assurance that the mass-produced cartridges for the clay competitors will be of better quality, Bernard said that they did not want to be caught in the situation again. 

“The amount of time, travel and money spent to prepare for the Games would amount to nothing if we are caught during the inspection,” he added. 

Charles added that whether they get a reimbursement from the NSAM was not the issue. 

“It is better for us because we have been using our choice of ammunition in practice all this while. We are comfortable with it and it will be better for our chances in the Games,” he said. 

In Charles case, it was not the first time he was disqualified.  

He suffered a similar misfortune at the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games in 1998 when the pellets were found to be of a different size. Then he partnered Leong Wai Heng. 

Bernard and Charles, who qualified on merit this time, are optimistic they can win a medal if they produce their personal bests in Melbourne. 

“Bernard has a best of 120 out of 125 targets while my best score is 118,” said Charles. 

“If we can get this score, the chances of finishing among the medals will be there.” 

The clay shooters left for Melbourne last night to join the pistol and rifle shooters, who have been there since the beginning of the month. 

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