Republic of Korea’s Jin completes unique shooting hat-trick
South Korean shooter Jin Jongoh fought his way back from the brink of elimination to claim an unprecedented third consecutive gold in the Olympic men’s 50m pistol event in Rio on 10 August.
The winner of Olympic gold in the event at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, Jin became the first shooter, male or female, to win the same shooting event at three consecutive Games and to land four individual shooting gold medals, the South Korean having also won 10m air pistol gold in the British capital four years ago.
Taking silver behind him was Vietnam’s Hoang Xuan Vinh, who won 10m air pistol gold on the opening day of Rio 2016, with Kim Song Guk of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea third.
Ranked no1 in the world, the 36-year-old Jin went in the final as the favourite, only to score a disappointing 6.6 with his ninth shot. That relegated him to seventh place, 5.2 points behind the then leader Kim, competing in his first ever international final. Showing why he is the world’s best, Jin fought his way back into contention, climbing up the scoreboard and overhauling his two fellow medallists to post an Olympic record total of 193.7 points.
Reflecting on his unique achievement, Jin, who also won 50m silver at Athens 2004 and 10m air pistol silver four years later, said: “I have won three gold medals at the Olympics, but this one is the happiest and most valuable because this was the most challenging competition and I was under the greatest pressure.
“I told myself: ‘Don’t give up. Don’t give up’,” he said of his faltering start. “I wanted to give up, I was doing so badly, but I said to myself this is my last Olympics. I cannot give up. I did badly in the 10m (air pistol) so I wanted to do better today. I felt nervous. I’m so glad I did well.”
After winning his country’s third shooting medal, bronze medallist Kim had this to say: “I didn’t do as well as expected. I wanted to do better, but in the end I got bronze. If I train harder, I think I will do better.”