China’s Yi Siling Wins Olympic Gold
The first gold of the London Olympics was won on Saturday. Yi Siling from China, who was also the first athlete to qualify for the Games, won the women’s 10-meter air rifle competition reaffirming her top position after winning the world championship in Munich two years ago.
Sylwia Bogacka from Poland looked like she was going to claim gold until her third-to-last shot, she later recovered and managed to claim silver. Third place went to Yu Dan of China making China the first team since 1988 to have two medalists in the event.
After winning Yi cried with relief in her coach’s arms and welcomed the rush of Chinese media saying that their attention made her feel like a film star. However, her thoughts quickly turned to her family and offered them an emotional thanks while commenting on her father’s ill health.
Yi has been in 12 finals of 15 competitions of the past 15 times and won medals at nine of them. Even though she is both the World and Asian champion she said that she was nervous throughout the Olympic event.
She was trailing Bogacka until the eighth shot of the 10-shot final. Bogacka scored 9.7, her lowest in the final, and dropped to third place. However an almost perfect final shot, scoring 10.8 out of 10.9 moved her up into second for a silver medal.
Bogacka said that “she didn’t prepare well for the shot, but I knew what I did wrong and fixed it for the last shot. I saw in my mind the last shot, 10.8, and when I saw it on the monitor I was very happy.” She became the first Pole to win a medal in shooting since 2000.
Katerina Emmons, the defending champion from the Czech Republic, finished fourth whilst Lioubov Galkina, the Beijing silver medalist finished 10th.