He had finished the 2015 season atop of the rankings, winning the ISSF World Cup Final in Munich, and he started off the Olympic year in the best possible way, securing Gold at the ISSF World Cup in Bangkok, today.
The 2016 ISSF World Cup in Bangkok finished in style, with an exciting 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men final.
London 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist Matthew Emmons (34) finished in the spotlights, winning the match with a score of 458.6 points.
Ranked second in the world in this event, Emmons closed the Kneeling series in third place with 151.7 points, and then climbed up in second after the Prone series with 307.8 points.
Fighting neck and neck against the 2010 Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist Serhiy Kulish of Ukraine (22) through the Standing series, Emmons moved in the lead and gained a narrow margin of 1.7 points on his opponent before the last shot.
Closing the match with a 9.6, the American athlete left no chances to Kulish, securing the Gold and leaving the Ukrainian shooter in second with 456.8 points.
“You never know what’s going to happen at the last shot, but I have been working on that,” said Emmons.
“As I get older and shoot more finals, I can never say that it gets easier. It’s always challenging when you’re standing up there, going for the medals. Luckily, recently I have been shooting a lot of good shots,” continued the US athlete, who had won last year’s ISSF World Cup Final title in Munich.
Emmons is now working on the road leading to Rio 2016, “every cycle you learn what was good and what was bad. I wouldn’t say there’s anything particularly unique which I am doing to prepare for Rio.”
“There’s is pressure on everyone, going into the Olympics. I want to go there, and just be prepared and feel that I am in control of what I am doing. I never would say that I am going to go there to win, because at the highest level there are so many guys that are very very good.”
The 2006 Junior World Champion, Cao Yifei of the People’s Republic of China (27) joined Emmons and Kulish on the podium, collecting Bronze with 445.6 points.
Following him, Norway’s Odd Arne Brekne, 31 - an expert 300m rifle shooter who had never made it into a final in this event - took the 4th place with 435.1 points. Brekne had finished the Kneeling series in the lead with 153.2 points, and kept the first position through the Prone series with 308.2 points, dropping then down in the placements through the Standing series.
The two Japanese teammates Toshikatzu Yamashita (39) and Takayuki Matsumoto (32) were the first two finalists to be eliminated through the Standing series, and took 7th and 8th place with 396.9 and 393.1 points, respectively. The winner of last year’s ISSF World Cup in Gabala, Hui Zicheng (26) of the People’s Republic of China, followed them, closing the match in 6th place with 412.1 points, while it was Republic of Korea’s Chung Jae Seung (28) who finished in 5th with 422.2 points.
The 50m Rifle 3 Position Men Final concluded the ISSF Rifle and Pistol World Cup in Bangkok, Thailand.
Find the a recap of the medal winners and of the records scored during the competition, as well as the overall medal standings of the Stage, here (link).
The ISSF World Cup Series will now move on to Nicosia, Cyprus, where the first ISSF Shotgun World Cup Stage of the season will be conducted from the 17 to the 25 of March.
VIDEO - Finals 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men