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Cuban Pupo wins historic Olympic gold in men's shooting

(Xinhua)

10:35, August 04, 2012

LONDON, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Cuban Leuris Pupo won gold in the men's 25-rapid fire pistol at London Olympics on Friday, which was a historic feat for Cuba's shooting.

Pupo achieved 34 points in the final, the same score of the world record, and left behind other favorite shooters as Indian Vijay Kumar and Chinese Feng Ding, who won the silver and bronze medal respectively.

The Cuban shooter showed a splendid pulse which allowed him to achieve three perfect series from a total of eight (3-5-5-5-4-4-4-4).

After he qualified third to the final with 586 points, Pupo had a better performance than world champion Russian Alexei Klimov, who broke his own world record during the qualification stage with 592 points, but ended in the fourth position.

"It wasn't an easy competition," said the Cuban, who was very excited after becoming also the first gold-medal winner from the Cuban delegation, which Friday also won another gold medal in judo by Idalys Ortiz.

Pupo, 35, native from eastern Cuban province of Holguin, has been in four Olympic Games.

The shooter's gold medal is the result of a rising Olympic career. In Sydney 2000, Pupo achieved the ninth position, in Athens 2004 he ended in the eighth position and four years ago in Beijing 2008 he achieved the seventh position.

"I focused in the technique, without thinking in my rivals," said Pupo, who achieved the highest Olympic performance that a Cuban shooter has accomplished. The 25-rapid fire pistol is a demanding sport that combines precision and speed.

Pupo, who has been in the Cuban shooting national team for 15 years, has won three gold medals and one bronze medal in Maracaibo 1998 Central American and Caribbean Games, as well as other three gold medals and one silver medal in Cartagena de Indias 2006.

Last January Pupo, who is also double Pan-American champion in Santo Domingo 2003 and Rio de Janeiro 2007, said he was very confident and that he was going to seek a medal in London.

In March, Pupo finished among the six best shooters in Munich 2012 World Cup, where Chinese Jiang Zhang won the first position, followed by German Christian Reitz and Russian Sergei Poliakov.

Pupo accomplished Cuba's best performance in the history of Olympic shooting sport, after the bronze medals in skeet category won by Roberto Castrillo in Moscow 1980 and Juan Miguel Rodriguez in Athens 2004, and Eglys Cruz in women's 50-meter rifle 3 positions in Beijing 2008.


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