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Ukrainian Ayvazian wins men's 50-meter rifle prone gold
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13:26, August 15, 2008

Ukrainian shooter Artur Ayvazian led all the way in the men's 50-meter rifle prone to win the Olympic gold at the Beijing Shooting Range on Friday.

Artur Ayvazian of Ukraine kisses his rifle after winning the men's 50m rifle prone final of Shooting at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Aug. 15, 2008. Artur Ayvazian claimed the gold with a total of 702.7. (Xinhua/Bao Feifei)

His final score was 702.7 points, one point ahead of American runner-up Matthew Emmons. The bronze was picked up by Australian Warren Potent with 700.5 points.

Ayvazian, who topped the qualification round, advanced into the final with 599 points, or one point below the world record but two points more than the score of Emmons.

The 35-year-old veteran shooter did a decent job in the final round, making all his shots above or equalling 10.0 point.

Despite a not-so-good start of a 10.0 in the first shot, defending champion Emmons pulled up his socks to impose a big threat to the former.

Always the last to open fire, the 27-year-old American impressed spectators by scoring five of his ten shots above 10.5 points.

After the ninth shot, gap between the duo was narrowed to 1.1 point.

In the last shot, Ayvazian made a quick fire.

A 10.3.

There was no chance for Emmons to overtake, although he did make a higher score of 10.4.

The 46-year-old Potent, the oldest among all finalists who had equalled world record of the discipline with a staggering 704.8 points at Good Luck Beijing World Cup, just colllected 595 points in the qualification this time and was ranked fourth.

But he managed to make a steady progress, climbing to the third after the fifth shot and hence maintaining his position.

Russian Konstantin Prikhodtchenko made a surprising start with 10.8, 10.6 and 10.9 points and surged to the third before the fourth shot, lending a glim of hope for the shooting powerhouse nation to end its gold drought in shooting events at the Beijing Olympics. But the 36-year-old failed to keep his momentum and slipped to the fifth after the seventh shot, a 9.9.

Two Chinese shooters, Qiu Jian and Jia Zhanbo, finished 19th and 27th among the 56 shooters and failed to enter the final.

Matthew Emmons of the United States talks with his wife Katerina Emmons after the men's 50m rifle prone final of Shooting at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Aug. 15, 2008. Matthew Emmons won the silver medal in this event. (Xinhua/Jiao Weiping)


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