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Date
12 Aug 2016
Tags
RIO 2016 , IOC News , Shooting , Germany , Italy

Another rifle gold for Germany, as Italians take one-two in women’s skeet

Olympic debutant Henri Junghaenel secured Germany's second gold medal in rifle shooting in as many days by winning the men's 50m rifle prone event on 12 August.

Having scraped into the finals in the last of eight positions, the 28-year-old alumnus of the University of Kentucky established an early lead with several successive 10.8 shots, just shy of the perfect 10.9.

Kim Jonghyun of the Republic of Korea won his second Olympic silver with a perfect 10.9 shoot-off against Kirill Grigoryan, leaving the 24-year-old Russian to take the bronze, his country’s first ever medal in this event.

Junghaenel finished with a 209.5 in 20 shots, 1.3 points over Kim, but shy of his 2013 world record finals score of 211.2. On realising he had won gold, the German raised himself off the ground, under the weight of the stability clothing used in the event, and lifted his rifle into the air to celebrate.

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After four years of training for the Olympics, Junghaenel said he entered the finals angry about his last “stupid” shot in the qualifying round and had to tell himself to pull it together. “In the beginning, I was really nervous and was happy I could make the shots still work really well,” he revealed.

He also said that compatriot Barbara Engleder's gold medal the day before in the women's 50 metre rifle three positions “took a little bit of pressure off”.

Junghaenel credits his time at university, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering, for much of his success. “Training conditions are perfect in the United States. I also think it is very helpful to have something besides shooting for your mind,” he said. “The combination between college and shooting, that's just awesome.”

Italians face off for skeet gold

In an all-Italian final, Olympic debutant Diana Bacosi defeated 2008 champion Chiara Cainero by a score of 15-14 to win the gold medal in the women's skeet shooting. “I can’t believe it. It’s an extraordinary feeling,” said an ecstatic Bacosi. “I’ve worked so much. I did so many sacrifices to come here. I’m so happy.”

The new champion added that she had not expected to go so far in the competition, and that facing off against her old friend Cainero was a strange feeling.

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“We are very close friends and it was a great and emotional feeling to fight against her but also a struggling feeling. But I’m very proud to have beaten another gold medallist.”

“My initial goal was to get in the semis and from there to play my game and do my best... Maybe it was just my time and my day.”

In the bronze medal match, three-time Olympic champion Kim Rhode of the USA defeated China’s Wei Meng in a shoot-off, to win her sixth medal in her sixth consecutive Games, a new record for a female athlete.

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