Czech Republic's Emmons wins first gold; Beyerle takes 4th
BEIJING — Katerina Emmons of the Czech Republic on Saturday won the first gold medal of the Beijing Olympics, in women’s 10m air rifle.
Emmons, who is married to U.S. shooter Matt Emmons, equaled a world record score of 400 in the qualification round and captured the final round to win with a score of 503.5 -- an Olympic record.
Lioubov Galkina of Russia won the silver medal and Snjezana Pejcic of Croatia took the bronze.
American Jamie Beyerle of Lebanon, Pa., placed fourth. She had the third-highest score of the final round of qualifying with a 102.8. But a two-point gap between her and Pejcic proved to be too much to overcome. Beyerle finished with 499.8.
The big surprise was a fifth-place finish by China’s Du Li, who came into the event as the favorite. She won the gold at the Athens Games four years ago.
The Associated Press reported that Du was greeted with a roar from the fans in the upper balcony when she came out for the final. She turned to face the crowd and waved and bowed before heading over to her lane. She misfired immediately, however, scoring only 9.8 points on her first attempt, the worst shot of any of the eight finalists.
-- Debbie Goffa
Photo: Katerina Emmons of the Czech Republic celebrates winning the gold medal in the women's 10m air rifle event. Credit: Phil Walter / Getty Images