July 30, 2012
By J. Scott Rupp
The Men's 10m Air Pistol event showcased how important it is to be able to turn in a good 10-shot final once a shooter makes it into that eight-athlete field. While Jongoh Jin was never in serious jeopardy in his push of the gold medal—he led the pack by a convincing four points with a 588/600 after the qualifying round—the race for silver and bronze proved much more interesting.
Defending Olympic gold medalist Wei Pang was a mere two points behind Jin as they entered the final, and it looked like shooting superpower China was a lock to win another medal. But he faltered, posting a 97.7 (in finals competition, the scoring rings are broken into tenths, with 10.9 the highest possible total for a center shot).
That left the door wide open for the silver. And through that door walked Italy's Luca Tesconi, who was in fifth place with a 584. He vaulted past both Pang and Serbia's Andrija Zlatic courtesy of an outstanding 101.8 final—the best score posted. Tesconi fired only three nines in the 10 shots.
The cutoff to make the final was 583, and neither USA's Daryl Szarenski of Seale, AL, nor Jason Turner of Rochester, NY, was able to make the cut. Szarenski came closest with a 575, good for 23rd place. Turner—the defending Olympic bronze medalist who earned his medal after the shooter who finished ahead of him tested positive for a banned substance, moving Turner into third—turned in a 569 this Olympics to finish 34th.
In the women's competition, China's Wenjun Guo came into the final leading the field by a point with a 388/400 and overcame a major stumble when she posted an 8.0 on her first shot in the finals to win the gold. She followed that poor shot with an excellent 10.8 and then strung together a solid 100.1 to win the match with a 488.1 combined qualification/finals tally.
Ukraine's Olena Kostevych entered the final in second place. She and Celine Goberville of France shot 387s, Kostevych with the edge courtesy of 18 inner 10s versus Goberville's 13. But in the end it was Goverville taking the silver. After the pair had tied at 486.6 overall, they entered a one-shot shoot-off, and Goverville aced it with a 10.6 to Kostevych's 9.7.
USA's Sandra Uptagrafft of Phenix City, AL, stumbled a bit in the early going of the qualification, but she came back strong to finish with a 378, seven points out of making the final.
Men's 10m Air Pistol
- Gold—Jin, Jongoh (KOR) 588+100.2 688.2
- Silver—Tesconi, Luca (ITA) 584+101.8 685.8
- Bronze—Zlatic, Andrija (SRB) 585+100.2 685.2
- 4. Pan, Wei (CHN) 586+97.7 683.7
- 5. Omelchuk, Oleh 583+100.6 683.6
- 6. Carrera, Pablo 585+98.3 683.3
- 7. Costa, Joao 583+99.3 682.3
- 8. Jahnsson, Kai 583+96.1 679.1
- 23. Szarenski, Daryl (USA) 575
- 35. Turner, Jason (USA) 569
Women's 10m Air Pistol
- Gold—Wenjun Guo (CHN) 388+100.1 488.1
- Silver—Goberville, Celine (FRA) 387+99.6 486.6
- Bronze—Kostevych, Olena (UKR) 387+99.6 486.6
- 4. Yaskevich, Liubov (RUS) 385+101.0 486.0
- 5. Chaika, Viktoria (BLR) 385+100.2 485.2
- 6. Su, Yuling (CHN) 386+98.6 484.6
- 7. Arunovic, Zorana (SRB) 385+98.5 483.5
- 8. Maruskova, Lenka (CZE) 385+97.6 482.6
- 28. Uptagrafft, Sandra (USA) 378