Posted On Monday, July 30, 2012 at 08:47:13 AM
China’s Guo Wenjun, who nearly quit the sport in 2005, held her nerves to produce a near-perfect last shot to claim gold in the women’s 10 metre air pistol, retaining her Olympic title in a topsy-turvy final of nerve-jangling shooting on Sunday.
|China’s Guo Wenjun
Guo threw her hands over her face in disbelief after scoring a 10.8 — just shy of the maximum 10.9 — to overhaul Goberville, who held a 0.5 advantage going into the 10th and decisive round. Guo finished with 488.1 points, with Goberville claiming silver in a shootoff with Ukraine’s Olena Kostevych after both finished on 486.6.
Guo’s story is a fascinating one. When she was 13, she was selected into Xi’an physical training school in 1997. Though she liked shooting, she wasn’t thrilled by the boring trainings. Soon, things was to turn dire. When she wasn’t selected for the National Games, she thought of quitting in disappointment in 2005.
She even started to work in a department store that sold sport suits. “During that three months, I tasted the hardship of life,” she recalled once. She had to contend with a tough boss and had to cope with different personalities. “In comparison, training is a blessing,” she said.
And she returned to shooting and made it to national shooting squad in 2006. “I just focused on doing my best with the final shot,” an elated Guo said yesterday after winning China’s second shooting gold of the Games.
Guo said she put a poor eighth shot out of her mind as the competition reached its nail-biting climax, adding: “It was done. I just couldn’t keep thinking about it. It means I’m the best. I am so excited. I was just focusing on the competition and not on the others.” Perhaps, the Frenchwoman Goberville should have done the same but she choked at the last try.
The 25- year-old Frenchwoman was only able to muster a disappointing 8.8 with her final effort “The last shot - it was a mistake, I cannot explain it,” Goberville. “I was already very stressed... I had difficulty realising where I was, what was happening. After the last shot I was pretty disappointed but I knew I had a medal. I was disappointed that I had gone from first to second with my last shot but then I had to concentrate on the shootoff.”
Rhode makes history
Shooter Kim Rhode missed just one shot out of 100 — equalling the world record — as she became America’s first individual medallist at five straight Olympics with gold in the women’s skeet Sunday. China’s Wei Ning won silver with Danka Bartekova of Slovakia taking bronze after a shoot-off.
Rhode’s build-up to the London Games was hit when flight problems forced her to miss her team’s training camp in Denmark, and when her fourmonth- old puppy ate her plane ticket.
Rhode finished with 99 hits out of 100 of the fast-moving clay pigeon targets. Wei was a distant second with 91 hits, while Bartekova was involved in a shoot-off for bronze after she finished level on 90 hits with Russia’s Marina Belikova. Rhode had also won the qualifying competition, hitting 74 targets out of 75 to notch a new Olympic record.
Indians miss the mark
Indian shooters continued to misfire at the Olympic Games as Heena Sidhu and Annu Raj Singh bowed out of the women’s 10m air pistol event after failing to qualify for the finals here today. Heena came close after finishing 12th with a score of 382 while Annu Raj ended 23rd at the Royal Artillery Barracks.
While Heena had a sequence of 93 97 97 95, Annu Raj shot a series of 94 96 97 91, efforts not good enough to see them into the top-8. Vijay Kumar could not qualify for the final of the men’s 10m air pistol event on Saturday.