Pavlo Korostylov stays focused to secure shooting gold

There were numerous distractions that could have knocked Ukraine's Pavlo Korostylov off his game in the men’s 10m air pistol final. The music and cheering, the presence of International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and, not least, the fact he had a Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games gold medal in his sights.

However, two-time junior European champion Korostylov took it all in his stride as he hit a score of 203.4 to secure the gold medal, more than three points ahead of silver medallist Kim Cheongyong (KOR) on 199.8, and 24.8 points ahead of bronze medallist Edouard Dortomb (FRA).

“Today I shot just like I do in training, like I did at the European Championship,” Korostylov said. “I try not to think about anything. I keep an empty head.” 

The match was tight in the early rounds but by the 10th shot Korostylov’s consistency began to give him the edge. All but seven of his shots scored more than 10, and he never shot below 9.5.

Korostylov's journey in the sport began in 2008 when his mother, a shooter, encouraged his interest in the sport. And his cool-headed showing in Nanjing was certainly a strong indication that the 16-year-old has the mental resolve to meet his goal of making the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Silver medallist Kim was happy with his showing and enjoyed the new, lively competition environment. “The music was no problem at all, it was fun and games,” he said. “I don’t care about the ranking.”

And at just 14 years of age, Dortomb was delighted to pick up a medal.  “It’s extraordinary," he said. “I concentrated on my shooting, and just did what I could.”

All of the competitors were individually congratulated by IOC President Thomas Bach, as well as by International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) President Olegario, Vazquez Rana and Secretary General, Franz Schreiber.