Posted: Sunday July 29, 2012 11:06 AM

China's Guo retains Olympic 10m air pistol title

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LONDON (AP) - Guo Wenjun of China hadn't won anything, let alone reached a final, for two years until she successfully defended her Olympic 10-meter air pistol title in the Olympics on Sunday.

Celine Goberville of France, who blew the gold with an 8.8 on her last shot, won a one-shot shootoff against Olena Kostevych of Ukraine to win the silver medal in her first games. Kostevych, the 2004 Olympic champion, settled for bronze.

This was the second shooting gold in two days for China, with Yi Siling winning the first gold medal of the games in the women's 10-meter air rifle.

The surprise gold medal for Guo at the Royal Artillery Barracks caps the happiest time in her life, she said.

Since winning at the Beijing Games, Guo has married and had a baby daughter. That's why her results of late haven't been anything to rave about, she said.

Guo scored 10.8 out of 10.9 with her 10th and last shot to rise from second, causing the Chinese team to cheer.

She topped qualifying by one point over gold-medal favorite Kostevych and Goberville. The trio shot well enough to stay in the medal positions ahead of the other five finalists in a dramatic final.

Guo began the final with a shocking 8.0 and fell to third. How did she recover? With a 10.8.

"You have 10 shots and I knew it was important to concentrate on every remaining shot,'' she said.

Kostevych lost the lead after her third shot, a 9.1, her worst. Guo was back on top in the fourth round, but Goberville hit the front in the sixth and stayed there until the last round.

In the shootoff, Goberville scored 10.6 and Kostevych 9.7.

"I can't believe I did something so good,'' Goberville said.

Kostevych responded to a humbling 31st placing in Beijing by becoming the most successful woman at 10 meters in the last four years, with twice as many victories as Guo and a win in the last World Cup in June. But she couldn't keep the momentum going for a second Olympic gold.

Goberville has won only once since 2009 but has always been a contender. This was her 11th final in 14 events in four years, and the medal might keep her shooting. She had halted her phys-ed studies to work toward becoming a riding instructor.
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