TRAP shooter Charles Chen has qualified for the New Delhi Commonwealth Games after surpassing the event's qualifying mark en route to clinching the gold medal at the Singapore Open on Monday. Charles displayed consistency and accuracy to equal Olympian Bernard Yeoh's preliminary round national record of 120 birds to qualify for the final stage.
Charles Chen shot 134 birds to bag gold at the Singapore Open on Monday and also clinched Commonwealth Games berth.
He continued his momentum with a final round of 19 to better Bernard's total score of 134 birds by five shots to bag the gold medal.
The qualifying mark for the Commonwealth Games is 116 (preliminary score) based on the sixth place from Melbourne four years ago.
Australia Clay Shooting Association's Tom Turner and Steven Trembath took silver and bronze with scores of 137 and 135 respectively.
Malaysia's Ong Chee Kheng (108) and Ng Beng Chong (104) finished 11th and 17th. The trio's combined score of 332 was also enough to secure Malaysia the team gold medal ahead of the Australians.
Charles was delighted with the win as he not only qualified for the Commonwealth Games on merit but also broke the national record held by Bernard since 2002.
"I will join Bernard on merit at the New Delhi Games. Bernard made the cut after posting 120 birds in last year's World Championships in Slovenia," said Charles, who took up shooting 23 years ago.
"The National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) will be happy to know that both of us have qualified for the Games. I will need to focus in preparing for the competition," he added.
It will be Charles' third Commonwealth Games since making his debut in the 1998 edition. -- AJITPAL SINGH