Olympics: Korean Shooter Jin Wins Gold By A Whisker

BEIJING: Jin Jong-Oh of South Korea survived a last-minute scare to win the Olympic men’s 50m Pistol shooting gold medal in a thrilling finish on Tuesday.

Jin ended just 0.2 points ahead of second-placed North Korean Kim Jong-Su to grab his second medal of the Beijing Olympics after winning the silver in the 10m event on Saturday.

World champion Tan Zongliang was forced to settle for the bronze behind the two Koreans despite starting the 10-shot final with a seemingly comfortable two-point lead over his rivals.

Jin, silver-medallist at Athens four years ago, messed up his final shot with a score of 8.2 as Kim put in 10.5, but it was enough for the South Korean to squeeze through.

Jin ended the tense final with 660.4 points, just narrowly ahead of Kim’s 660.2.

Local favourite Tan, who went without a medal in three previous Olympic appearances, could manage only 659.5 as he failed to touch the 10-point mark in seven of his 10 shots in the final.

Tan, who retires after his home Olympics, conceded his poor 7.9 on the first shot sealed his fate.

“I think I was in a bit of a hurry at the start, but later I settled down,” said the Chinese, who won the world championships in Croatia in 2006.

“I know it is a bit embarrassing that I have got only a bronze, but at least I have finally won an Olympic medal before ending my career.”

Jin, a member of the South Korean armed forces, conceded he was worried after the final shot.

“I don’t know what happened, but when I looked back and saw a few smiling faces, I realised I had done it,” he said.

“I went in with a lot of confidence because I had come second in Athens, but I still had to shoot my best. It was a close call, but at least it went in my favour.”

Defending champion Mikhail Nestruev of Russia failed to reach the final, managing just 552 in the qualification rounds to finish 24th.

Of the seven shooting golds decided so far, China and the Czech Republic have won two each while India, Finland and South Korea share the remaining three.

– AFP/yb

Channel News Asia

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