SHOOTING



SHOOTING
Hungary's Igalyclaims gold medal
XATHENS, Greece -- Diana Igaly of Hungary went a perfect 25-for-25 to win the gold medal in skeet shooting Thursday, finishing with a score of 97 to easily outdistance Wei Ning of China and Zemfira Meftakhetdinova of Azerbaijan.
Wei beat Meftakhetdinova in a shoot-off for the silver medal in the women's event, in which the last three world champions made it to the podium. Meftakhetdinova was the 2001 world champion, Igaly won the world title in 2002, and Wei won it last year.
Igaly, of Hungary, won the bronze medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Meftakhetdinova took the gold.
American Connie Smotek finished sixth. Smotek, who turns 40 on Sunday, made her first 11 shots of the finals but couldn't move into medal position. She finished the final round 22-for-25 for a total score of 90, seven shots behind Igaly.
After her final shot, Smotek smiled and walked over to exchange fist bumps with teammate Kim Rhode, who finished fifth.
Smotek competed in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, finishing 25th. Back then, women competed against men in skeet. Women's skeet shooting made its debut at the 2000 Sydney Games.
In Thursday's qualifying round, Smotek shot a 68, finishing ahead of world record holder Svetlana Demina of Russia and world No. 2 Maarit Lepomaki of Finland.
Earlier in the day, Manfred Kurzer of Germany had the worst final round of any shooter in 10-meter running target, but his world-record qualifying score gave the German a lead so big it didn't matter.
"I was never 100 percent sure that I was going to win," Kurzer said. "From the qualification round I had a six-point advantage, but I started the final thinking like I had [an] equal score."
But he didn't. Despite Kurzer's final round flop, he captured the gold medal. Alexander Blinov of Russia, who posted the day's best final round, took the silver medal while teammate Dimitri Lykin, the 2002 world champion, won bronze.
Associated Press

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