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Chinese markswoman Yi shoots down first London Games gold


07:50, July 30, 2012

Gold medalist Yi Siling of China celebrates during the victory ceremony of the Women's 10m Air Rifle competition of the London 2012 Olympic Games in London, Britain, on July 28, 2012. (Xinhua/Yang Lei)

LONDON, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese shooter Yi Siling shot down the first London Olympics gold medal in women's 10-meter air rifle Saturday with a score of 502.9 points.

Poland's Sylwia Bogacka, who shared the lead with Yi in the qualification with 399 points, finished 0.7 behind to settle with a silver.

Yi's teammate Yu Dan came up from fourth place in the qualification to grab a bronze, further 0.7 points trailing.

Yi 23, world No. 1 in the event, extended a stable and consistent performance in the final, shooting all her ten shots above 10 points and won the title in a deserved and convincing way.

In contrast, Bogacka who shot two under-par nine-plus, maintained her lead through first six shootings over Yi, but a costly eighth shot of 9.7 points denied the Polish chance of victory.

"My stability help me a lot today and at the same time I think I'm quite lucky," said Yi.

Yi earned one point in the single shot and overtook Bogacka for top place for the first time and for good.

"I have been away from home for more than a year and now I miss my family a lot," said Yi.

"After the Games, I'm going to have a vacation back to my hometown in Hunan province.

Yi burst into tears of happiness and excitement. "I feel I'm relaxed right now. You can't deny the pressure for me and for others competing here," added Yi.

"I was quite in ease and excited the moment the competition came to an end and I luckily won it, so I can not control my emotion.

Yi ruled out of seeking entertainment career for which her good-looking character and reputation built up from here will pave the way smooth.

"After a vacation, I will come back to normal training and set my eyes and goal on next Olympics. The moment, seeking a career of entertainment is not there for me to think.

"My life will be improved from the victory more or less," added she. "But the honor from Olympics is surely bigger for an athlete training all year long."

China was poised to finish one-two prior to the final shot, but Yu's 9.6 points in the last attempt downgraded her to the third place as Bogacka rebounded strong with a 10.8.

Defending champion Katerina Emmons luckily squeezed into the final with a 0.2 point margin in the qualifying shoot-off and steadily lifted her ranking in the finals through nine 10-plus shots in a row, but stumbled in her final shot to capture only 9.6 and missed her third consecutive podium finish.

Third-placed Daria Vdovina in the qualification faltered into the last place in the finals due to three under-10 shots.

Yi stood on the medal podium at all three World Cup events this year including a gold medal performance in Munich. She won the title of this event at the 2010 world championships in Munich.


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