Alin George Moldoveanu wins gold
LONDON -- Alin George Moldoveanu of Romania won the 10-meter air rifle gold medal and tied the Olympic qualifying record at the London Games on Monday, making up for narrowly missing a medal in Beijing.
The Romanian missed a medal at the previous Olympics in the 10-meter event by 2 millimeters. He said Beijing was not on his mind when he went into the final in London.
"I just went into it and tried to do my best like I do every time," Moldoveanu said. "I was calm. I did not feel pressure because I did not know where I was. Now I am overwhelmed. It's crazy."
Moldoveanu and top-ranked Niccolo Campriani of Italy shot 599 in qualifying to equal the Olympic record by Zhu Qinan in 2004. Zhu, who went on to win the 2004 gold and 2008 silver, qualified 10th, missing the eight-man final by a point.
In the final, Moldoveanu was just a little more consistent, scoring 103.1 to Campriani's 102.5. Moldoveanu totaled 702.1, and Campriani totaled 701.5 for the silver medal.
Campriani felt the pressure of going into the final as a gold favorite, and at times the Italian had a tough time dealing with distractions. Campriani slipped off the lead with shots in the 9-ring in the eighth and ninth rounds.
"The distraction of high expectations when you still have to shoot a match is not ideal for a sport where adrenaline is not your friend," Campriani said.
Gagan Narang of India, who runs a shooting academy in Hyderabad called Gun for Glory, won the bronze with a 701.1 total.
His compatriot, 2008 Beijing champion Abhinav Bindra, finished qualifying in 16th place, two shots out of the final. Bindra's gold in Beijing was the first in an individual event for India at the Olympics.
"I guess I have a huge stone off my shoulders," Narang said. "Bronze is a medal, and this is an Olympic bronze medal, so it's quite exciting."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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