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Final 50m Pistol Men

50m Pistol Men – Omelchuk grabbed Gold, Mikec his seventh final

ISSF World Cup Rifle / Pistol · Belgrade, SRB

Ukraine’s Oleg Omelchuk secured the Gold medal at the last shot, climbing from the third place. The home shooter Mikec, followed by a number of fans, entered his seventh final round of the year.

Ukraine’s Oleg Omelchuk stole the show at today’s 50m Pistol Men event, at the fourth and last ISSF World Cup stage in Rifle and Pistol events, which is held in Belgrade (SRB) from June 26 to July 4.

The 27-year old Ukrainian shooter entered the final round in third with 569 points, two points behind the qualification leader, Slovakia’s Pavol Kopp. But then, shooting solidly in spite of the wind blowing from the right to the left side, he climbed up the scoreboard, eventually overtaking Kopp with to a final score of 96.0 points.

Closing the match with an excellent last shot of 10.6 fired through the wind, Omelchuk climbed upon the highest step of the podium with a total score of 665.0 points, disappointing Kopp who was left in second place with a total of 664.7 points, just three tenths far from the Gold medal.

Omelchuk, raked ninth in the world in this event, had already finished on the podium once this season, as he had secured a Silver medal at the second ISSF world cup stage of the year, held in Beijing. The ISSF World Championship in Munich, kicking-off the 29th of July, is now in his sights. The young athlete has already participated in two World Championship editions, in 2002 and 2006, finishing in ninth and thirteen places, respectively. This year, he will try his best to finish at least in the top-5, as the five best finalists will bring back home an Olympic Quota Place to participate in the 2012 Games of London.

Today’s Bronze medallist, Russia’s 40-year old Vladimir Isakov, also aims to the World Championship. The expert shooter, who finished in third place today with a total score of 663.1 points, has been competing and winning medals at the 2004 and at the 2008 Olympic Games, and surely he would not miss the chance to qualify for the 2012 Games as soon as possible. Coming from a good 2010 season (he has entered two world cup final rounds and won two medals) he is regarded as one of the favourite shooters to be in the fight for the medals, at the most important competition of the year, next July.

The 50m Pistol Men final of this ISSF World Cup stage in Belgrade also put in the spotlight the home shooter Damir Mikec, whose consistency is impressive.

The 26-year old Serbian shooter finished in seventh place, with a total score of 657.2 points, a few points far from the podium, but his overall performance keeps on surprising: he entered both the 10m and the 50m pistol finals, here in Belgrade, concluding in the best possible way an excellent season. Out of four ISSF World Cup stages, the Serbian athlete has indeed made it into seven final rounds, and won two medals (a Gold and a Silver), this year. Numbers that probably makes of him the most successful pistol shooter of the 2010 world cup season, as well as the “man to beat” in pistol events at the next World Championship.

Marco Dalla Dea