(BEIJING, August 11) -- India's Abhinav Bindra won the gold medal in the Men's 10m Air Rifle in Beijing on August 11 with an incredible performance in the final. Bindra shot a total score of 700.5.
China's Zhu Qinan, gold medalist at Athens 2004, won the silver medal with a total score of 699.7.
The bronze medal was won by Finland's Henri Hakkinen, who was leading the field after the qualification round, but was unable to hold off Bindra and Zhu in the final. The Finnish shooter shot a total of 699.4.
Hakkinen shot 598 in the qualification round, giving him a one point lead over Zhu. Bindra was one point further back with 596.
Bindra signaled his intentions early in the final, with a 10.7 on his first shot. None of Bindra's shots in the final dropped below 10.0.
Hakkinen's performance in the final was solid, but it needed to be better. He averaged 10.14 per shot in the final, compared to Bindra's 10.45.
Going into the last shot, Bindra and Hakkinen were tied for first place, but Bindra secured the gold medal with his best shot of the final, an outstanding 10.8.
Conversely, Hakkinen's last shot was his worst, a lowly 9.7. This allowed Zhu to overcome Hakkinen and win the silver medal. Zhu shot 10.5 on his last shot.
Zhu will be disappointed that he did not become the first shooter to win two gold medals in the Men's 10m Air Pistol. However, he was unable to reproduce his best – Zhu holds the Olympic record for the final score in the event, the 702.7 that he shot at Athens 2004.