Luck on Campriani’s side as shooting gold goes to Italy

Italy's Niccolo Campriani credited a lucky late shot for his gold in the Olympic men's 10-metre air rifle.

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Serihy Kulish of Ukraine made his final shot poorly, widening what had been a razor-thin gap between the two. Kulish shot first and Campriani, a 28-year-old, three-time Olympian, paused for a breath before taking aim and firing his winning shot as the crowd cheered. It wasn't a shrewd tactical move, Campriani said: “That was one of the biggest mistakes I've ever done, to not take the shot at the first aiming. That was a mistake. Let’s say there was also a little bit of luck.”

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The noise of the crowd was one that Campriani said he had prepared for by recording the final of the women's rifle shooting on Saturday, and practicing along to that soundtrack.

“You try to forecast as many things as possible,” he said. “But you're not in control. For me, shooting in the finals is not about taking the best shot, but not making any big mistakes.”

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Campriani, who won silver at the 2012 London Olympic Games, established an Olympic record of 630.2 in the qualifying round and his competition score of 206.1 also now qualifies as an Olympic record. There had not been a comparable previous record due to a rule change.

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Kulish, 23, was wide of the mark with his final shot, scoring a 204.6 in his second Olympic appearance and took silver. The Ukrainian was in high spirits after his Olympic medal win: “It is actually a very strange feeling but tomorrow I think that I will wake up and I will realise what has happened. I think that my parents now are in shock, and if it was shown on TV, I think my mum was crying.”

Russia's Vladimir Maslennikov, 21, took bronze on his Olympic debut with a score of 184.2. India's Abhinav Bindra, a 33-year-old who in 2008 became the only individual athlete from his nation to win gold, took fourth with 163.8 after losing a shoot-off with Kulish after the pair exited the seventh round tied.