Sept. 11, 2008
BEIJING, China - Mike Dickey (Trafford, Ala.), Team USA's lone male shooter, took aim at his final Paralympic Games competition Thursday in the Mixed R3-10m Air Rifle Prone - SH1 Qualification round. With his sights set on making the finals, he had a strong start in the first half and missed the 10-ring only once in his initial 30 shots. He ended the competition with a score of 588 out of 600 and did not advance to the afternoon session.
"I'm disappointed I didn't do better," said Dickey. "I've been training well and did really well in the first half. During the second half, I got a bit nervous and missed a few shots." The field proved to be especially skilled and three of the shooters who accomplished scores of 599 in the qualification round did not even make the finals. The final event was won by Matt Skelhon of Great Britian with a score of 704.9.
As a sport with many athletes competing in their third, fourth or fifth Paralympic Games, experience is key for international success in shooting. "This is Mike's first Games, but he'll be back," said Durben. "He's learned what it takes and that will help him with training over the next four years." Dickey agreed. "I knew I had to shoot a really high score to have a chance," he said. "I've done that before, but just not today. I'll use this performance as motivation for the future."