Emmons misses China's Qiu Jian wins
By The Associated Press
Posted Saturday, August 16, 2008 6:25 PM ET
BEIJING (AP) - For the second straight Olympics, Matt Emmons lost a gold medal with a stunning mistake on the final shot. The American was in front Sunday in the 50-meter 3-position rifle and needed to come only somewhere close to the center of the target. But his gun went off accidentally on his final attempt, and he made just 4.4 of a possible 10.9 points. China's Qiu Jian ended with the gold.
Four years ago, Emmons had a big lead in this same event, then shot at the wrong target on his final attempt and ended with no medal at all.
He dropped to fourth this time. Jury Sukhorukov of Ukraine won the silver and Rajmond Debevec took the bronze.
A score of less than 8.0 is considered unusually bad in this event. As it turned out, Emmons would have needed only a 6.7 on the last shot to win. He said his gun fired as he was lowering it to focus on the middle of the target.
"I got on the trigger a little too hard. I didn't feel my trigger shaking but I guess it was," Emmons said. "It just hit the trigger, the gun went off and I was like, 'Uh, that's not going to be good.'"
Emmons was consoled by his wife, Katerina Emmons of the Czech Republic. The two met in Athens four years ago, when she went to offer support after his gaffe there.
"He's definitely the best standing shooter out there," she said Sunday. "If he can still end up fourth with a 4.4 on the last shot, that's a hell of a shooter."
Emmons won the gold medal in prone rifle in 2004 and the silver in that event in Beijing.