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Finals 50m Rifle Prone Men

Spotlight on Youth - A born-1990 duel for the Gold

ISSF World Cup Rifle / Pistol · Munich, GER

A breathtaking head to head decided this morning's 50m Men's Rifle Prone Final: the athletes engaged in the final contest – D'Halluin (FRA) and Mathis (AUT) - were both under 24.

Yesterday didn't offer the chance to see many young medallistsBrown came 8th, Jo Un Mi just one place away from the podium – but this World Cup Day 3 already got off to a good start: the first final – 50m Men's Rifle Prone – ended up entertaining the public with an exciting conclusion.

After 14
shots, Mickael D'Halluin takes the lead for the first time in the game (145.4 total score). That's when the direct contest between him and Thomas Mathis kicks off, with no chances for the other opponents: first Italy's Marco De Nicolo (2 shots later) and next Slovenia's Rajmond Debevec (after another series) have to capitulate and leave the competition, with – respectively - 164.3 and 186.2 points. Then, it's just Mathis and D'Halluin: the former 1st - 187.0 points - the latter 2nd - 186.9 - and just 0.1 far away from the Austrian shooter. Just 2 shots to decide who of the two young athletes would become the gold medalist. Now, the winner would be Mathis, but that is a nip and tuck dispute: the last series starts well for D'Halluin, who takes first place thanks to his 10.5 (vs Mathis' 10.2). 197.4-197.2.

All is
on the last shot: the French shooter can't keep focused on the game and just scores 9.9. All Mathis needs – in order to win - is a 10.2. But what he gets is a 10.0. Not enough: the Gold medal goes to Mickael D'Halluin. A few minutes later, the two of them – and Slovenia's Debevec – step up to the podium: France's national anthem playing is just icing on the cake for D'Halluin, after such an electric neck and neck just ended up with a 0.1 gap (207.3-207.2) wich - in overall – gives credits to both him and his opponent. Mathis and D'Halluin: the leading characters of the whole match. Today, it was just about 1990.

Alessandro Ceschi