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Guo wins pistol gold with near perfect shot

posted 29 Jul 2012, 15:36 by Mpelembe   [ updated 29 Jul 2012, 15:37 ]

China's Guo Wenjun produces a near perfect last shot to claim gold in the women's 10 metre air pistol and retain her Olympic title.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 29, 2012) (IOC) - China's Guo Wenjun produced 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 (July 29).

Guo finished with a score of 488.1 points with France's Celine Goberville claiming silver after a shootoff with Ukraine's Olena Kostevych after both finished on 486.6.

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.

The 25-year-old Frenchwoman was only able to muster a disappointing 8.8 with her final effort.

The 28-year-old Chinese had topped the qualifying for the eight-woman final at the Royal Artillery Barracks in south east London but began the final in the indoor range with a woeful eight to open the door to her European counterparts.

Kostevych, the 2004 Athens Games gold medallist, then took advantage after the first round before Guo and Goberville exchanged the lead several times in the nervous final before the Chinese sealed it with a masterful final shot.

As she celebrated her victory with her coaches, the crowd were hushed before Goberville struck a 10.6 in the shootoff to trump Kostevych's 9.7 to seal silver.

Guo's victory followed countrywoman Yi Siling's triumph on Saturday (July 28) when she won the first gold of the Games in the 10m air rifle as China generally made a strong start to London 2012.

At the Aquatics Centre Australia's Emily Seebohm, still riding a wave of excitement after winning a relay gold medal on the opening day of the Olympic swimming competition, upstaged American teenager Missy Franklin to top the qualifiers for the women's 100 metres backstroke.

Seebohm came agonisingly close to breaking the world record when she won her heat in 58.23 seconds, just 0.11 outside the world record set by Britain's Gemma Spofforth at the 2009 World Championships in Rome. Her time was enough to set a new Olympic record.

Franklin, the rising star of the American women's team, was second fastest overall in 59.37 with Australia's Belinda Hocking third in 59.61.