China's Du Li clinched the first gold medal of the Athens Olympics
after she won the women's 10m air rifle event on Saturday.
The 22-year-old outscored a host of elite markswomen, including
compatriot Zhao Yinghui, world number one Lioubov Galkina of Russia
and world and European champion Katerina Kurkova of the Czech
Republic, winning with an Olympic record score of 502.0 points.
Du, who is competing in her first Olympics, entered the 10-shot
final with 398 points on joint second places along with Zhao and
Kurkova. She was edged into fifth place after opening the final
with a 9.4.
The girl then maintained her composure and rejoined the title
race with a 10.6 and 10.8. But she didn't overtake all-time
leader Galkina until the last shot, firing a 10.6 against the
Galkina, who led by a full point into the final with 399 points,
had to settle for the silver with a total of 501.5 points.
Kurkova claimed the bronze medal with 501.1 points.
Zhao, a title favorite before the Games, only finished a
disappointing fourth on 500.8 points.
Factbox: Olympic first gold winner Du Li
Birthday: May 3, 1982
Birthplace: Shandong Province, East China
Coach: Wang Yuefang
Career: 2002 world champion, 2003 World Cup winner and word
(Xinhua News Agency August 14, 2004)