Schoolboy error costs Australian athlete a medal

4:37 pm on 11 October 2010

A simple error by Australia's oldest athlete at the Commonwealth Games, Michelangelo Giustiniano, cost him the chance of winning a shooting silver medal on Sunday.

A month shy of his 58th birthday and with two gold medals in his possession from the 1994 and 1998 Games, Giustiniano could only raise his eyes in horror when he realised he had blown his chances of a medal after firing five shots into a rival's target in the men's 25m centrefire pistol event.

"I don't recall this ever happening. It's crazy. I'll get my head around it eventually. It's not only tough to take, but the chances of me making up for this are slim," Giustiniano said.

The Australian mistakenly fired all of his five shoot-off rounds into the target belonging to the competitor next to him, Singapore's Lip Meng Poh, at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.

Giustiniano's scoreboard was left blank while nines and 10s popped up on his rival's monitor causing all round confusion.

Some of Giustiniano shots counted towards Poh's score of 49, giving him bronze and leaving the Australian in fifth.