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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Young US shooter wins gold

In the last shotgun event of the Games, US shooter Vincent Hancock won gold in the Men's Skeet in Beijing on August 16.

Hancock, 19, was the youngest shooter to compete in the event. He won the United States' first gold medal in the event by winning a shoot-off (+4/4) against Tore Brovold of Norway (+3/4). Brovold caught up to him when Hancock missed a target on his 20th shot in the final.

Brovold, 38, was one point behind Hancock after the qualification round, but he shot all 25 targets in the final to tie with Hancock on 145 points. Brovold's silver medal is Norway's first Olympic medal in this event.

Anthony Terras of France won the bronze medal after being tied on 144 points with Cyprus' Antonis Nikolaidis. Terras won the shoot-off after Nikolaidis missed a target on his second pair of shots.

Nikolaidis' compatriot Georgios Achilleos, the current World No. 1, finished fifth (143). China's Qu Ridong, who secured the last spot in the final after winning a seven-way shoot off (+4) finished sixth (142).

Andrea Benelli of Italy, event favorite and defending Olympic gold medalist, finished 24th (113) after qualification and failed to qualify for the final. Ennio Falco of Italy and Mikola Milchev of Ukraine, gold medalists at Sydney 2000 and Atlanta 1996, suffered the same fate, finishing 15th and 32nd respectively after qualification.

In today's other shooting event, Ukrainian Oleksandr Petriv's record-setting performance kept Germany's Ralf Schumann from a fourth Olympic gold in the Men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol.

Petriv set an Olympic final record of 780.2 points to win his first Olympic medal, the gold. Schumann, who has won Olympic gold medals at Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004, claimed the silver medal with a final tally of 779.5, while his young countryman Christian Reitz took the bronze medal with a final score of 779.3.

No shooter has won four or more Olympic gold medals since the 1920s. Schumann, 46, is a veteran of Olympic finals and he now has a pair of silver medals. Schumann won his first silver medal at Seoul 1988.

The US shooter Keith Sanderson, who had entered the final in first place after scoring a qualification score of 583, dropped to sixth after a poor third series of shots and wound up in fifth, one spot ahead of Russian Leonid Ekimov.



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