China's Yi wins air rifle title for Games' first gold

Yi Siling, London Olympics,

Posted at Jul 28 2012 08:48 PM | Updated as of Jul 29 2012 08:44 AM

LONDON - China's world number one Yi Siling won the first gold of the London Olympics in the women's 10m air rifle competition at London's Royal Artillery Barracks on Saturday.

In a tense contest Poland's Sylwia Bogacka took silver while Yu Dan of China won bronze.

Yi, 23, who won the title at the 2010 world championships in Munich, had a total winning score of 502.9, 0.7 points ahead of Bogacka, on 502.2. Yu finished with 501.5.

Defending Olympic champion Katerina Emmons of the Czech Republic finished fourth.

Yi, who was well off her own world record of 505.6, said it felt good to be the first gold medal winner of the 2012 Games.

"It's very exciting. Very happy. I'm very grateful to China. And to my mother and father who I love very much," she said.

"I am pleased, not nervous like I was in the competition. I have been up since five this morning. There was a lot of pressure on me," she added.

And Yi said being Olympic champion would change her life.

"I think I myself have changed. I feel like I've grown up and then I think this is going to bring some changes to my life as well."

Bogacka earlier finished top of qualifying with Yi in second and the two were locked together in an agonisingly tight battle in the final but the Chinese held her nerve under intense pressure, taking advantage of some slips from the Pole.

The top eight competitors from the qualification round reached the final, shooting a further 10 shots, each fired individually under timed conditions.

The score in the final is added to the score achieved in the qualification round to determine the winner.

The first medals of the Games were presented by International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge.

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