Finals 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men

Klimov and Reitz set a new Rapid Fire Pistol Final World Record

ISSF World Cup Rifle / Pistol · Milan, ITA

An epic fight between the two top-ranked 25m Rapid Fire pistol shooters Klimov (RUS) and Reitz (GER), as well as the all-time best Rapid Fire competitor Schumann (GER), was the highlight of the day at the ISSF World Cup Stage in Milan.

Russia’s reigning World Champion Alexei Klimov and Germany’s Olympic Bronze medallist Christian Reitz, along with the three-time Olympic Champion Ralf Schumann, were the protagonists of today’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men final, at the ISSF Rifle & Pistol World Cup in Milan.


And it was an epic match, the highlight of this World Cup event. The three of them shot tied right to the end, passing through the new hi-or-miss direct-elimination final in a neck and neck race for the podium.


When the other three finalists (Emil Milev, USA; Ha Minh Thanh, VIE; Sergei Alifirenko, RUS) left the final one by one, the medal match turned into be a matter of stamina and experience. Klimov, Reitz and Schumann, tied with 29 hits after the seventh series, had to shoot-off for the medals.


While Klimov and Reitz both hit four targets, advancing to the Gold medal match, Schumann had to give up due to a non-allowed malfunction. It was probably an electronic problem that shut down the pistol of the 49-year old champion, who left the match wearing the Bronze medal, with a final score of 29 hits.


There must be a winner, this is what the rules say, but it was not that easy to decide who had to wear the Gold medal, today. Klimov, 36, coming from a victory at the previous ISSF World Cup Stage in London, appeared to be determined to win. But his young competitor, the 22-year old German ace Christian Reitz, clearly did not want to give up. They are currently ranked first and second in the world. They both held the World Record (591 points) and the Final World Record (33 hits, up to today). So the fight for the brightest medal turned into a real duel between the two best Rapid Fire Pistol shooters of the world.


The competition series were not enough to sort it out: during the sixth series, both Klimov and Reitz hit all the 5 targets, setting a new Final World Record, 34 hits. Again together. Again tied.


Therefore, a shoot-off was needed to decide the Gold medal winner. And then, finally, Klimov prevailed with 4 hits to Reitz’s 2, climbing upon the highest step of the podium with a record final score of 39+4 hits.


“First London and then now Milan, it feels great.” Klimov commented. “I am shooting good, I feel good, and my Olympic preparation is going on. My sights are on the Olympics, of course.”


And at the Olympics he will meet today’s Silver medallist, Christian Reitz, who comes back home from Milan after setting a new Final World Record (34 hits) and wearing another medal to display in his awards collection (five World Cup Gold medals, and a total of 11 ISSF World Cup medals).


The fight is not over yet: the two shooters, as well as today’s Bronze medallist Schumann, will meet again next week in Munich, at the 1972 Olympic Shooting Range, where the next ISSF World Cup Stage will be held.


Keep on following the duel on and on

Marco Dalla Dea


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