CSU's Gray Takes Rifle Olympic Gold in 50 Meter Three-Position Event
London, England – Columbus State University assistant rifle coach Jamie Gray broke the Olympic record in the 50 meter air rifle three-position event shooting a 691.9 to capture the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics Saturday morning.
It is the first medal in Gray's shooting career in her fourth Olympic event. She also becomes the first medal winner associated with Columbus State.
After posting a 592 score (out of a possible 600 points) in the qualification round, Gray held a two point lead entering the medal round over Serbia's Ivana Maksimovic.
In the finals, the two shooters exchanged blows as Gray shot a 10.5 with her first shot (perfect score 10.9) while Maksimovic posted a score of 9.3. However, the roles reversed on the second shot as the Serb shot a 10.3 besting Gray's 9.2 score.
Both shooters posted over 10 points on the third shot keeping the score tight. As she did all day, Gray continued to impress shooting a 10.1 and a 9.6 in shots four and five respectively, to increase her lead to 3.1 points over Maksimovic at the midway point of the finals.
Maksimovic did not fade quietly posting a perfect 10.9 on her sixth shot gaining ground on the Cougar assistant.
The seventh round might have been the difference in the event as Gray posted a score of 10 while Maksimovic struggled a bit shooting a 9.2, her second lowest score in the finals as Gray erased the points she lost on Maksimovic's perfect score a shot earlier.
On the eighth shot, Gray tallied another 10 before her nerves started to show. With all the emotions of winning a gold medal running through her head, Gray shot an 8.9 on her ninth shot. However, Gray still had a 2.7 point lead over Masimovic after the silver medalist shot a 9.6.
To cap off what was a historic day, Gray saved her best shot for last posting a score of 10.8 in her final shot to capture the gold medal and also the Olympic record.
The previous Olympic record was a 690.3 set by China's Du Li at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in which Gray finished fifth in missing the bronze medal by seven tenths of a point.
Gray was fantastic in the finals scoring 10 or more points in
seven of her 10 shots. She had a final round score of 99.9 besting
the other seven opponents.
In the qualification round, Gray also took down a record that has been standing since the 1996 Atlanta Games by posting a score of 592 which broke the previous Olympic qualification round record of 589 set by Renata Mauer-Rozanska of Poland in 1996 and tied by Li Du of China in 2008.
Starting in the prone position, Gray shot a 98 in series one and
then followed with a perfect 100 in the second series. The 28-year
old would then separate herself from most of the field by shooting
back-to-back 99's in the standing position.
Gray entered the kneeling position needing a perfect score in each of the two series to break the world qualification record of 594. Midway through the first 10 shots, Gray was on pace but two shots just went wide resulting in a 98 in the first series. Showing her calm demeanor, Gray fired another 98 in the final round completing her record breaking performance.