History almost repeated itself in the Men’s 50m 3 Position final. USA shooter Matt Emmons—who had, for two Olympics running, botched his bid for gold in the finals with bad shots that took him out of the medals altogether—was in second place after the qualifying round with an 1172/1200. That score gave him a slim one-point edge for the silver. Three shooters were a point behind at 1171, one had fired an 1170, and the last two finals spots were held by shooters who’d fired 1169 and 1168.
There was little chance he was going to catch eventual gold medalist Niccolo Camprian of Italy. The West Virginia University graduate and silver medalist in air rifle set an Olympic record with an 1180—firing a 396/400 in prone, a 390 standing and a 394 kneeling.
But the silver medal was there for the taking. Emmons got off to a shaky start in the 10-shot final with a 9.2 and a 9.8 (in the finals, the scoring rings are broken into tenths, with 10.9 the maximum shot value), allowing South Korea’s Johghyun Kim to quickly move past him. Kim, in fact, fired the best final score of all qualifiers, a 101.5, to take the silver.
Now locked in a battle for the bronze, Emmons, a Browns Mills, NJ, native and University of Alaska-Fairbanks grad, got in the groove with a series of 10s. His seventh, eighth and ninth shots were really centered up: 10.7, 10.6 and 10.5, respectively. Then came the 10th shot, the one that had cost him gold medals in 50m 3 Position in
Athens in 2004 (crossfire) and Beijing 2008 (an inadvertent shot that scored 4.4). Emmons fired a poor 7.6, but it was just enough to grab the bronze by a slim 0.3-point margin.
Emmon’s teammate, Jason Parker a U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit member originally from Omaha, NE, fired an 1159, good for 30th place.
Men’s 50m 3 Position
- Gold—Campriani, Niccolo (ITA) 1180*+98.5 1278.5*
- Silver—Kim, Johghyun (KOR) 1171+101.5 1272.5
- Bronze—Emmons, Matt (USA) 1172+99.3 1271.3
- 4. Graff, Cyril (FRA) 1171+100.0 1271.0
- 5. Zhu, Qinan (CHN) 1170+100.2 1270.2
- 6. Sidi, Peter (HUN) 1168+101.0 1269.0
- 7. Bryhn, Ole Kristian (NOR) 1169+98.8 1267.8
- 8. Shcherbatsevich, Yury (BLR) 1171+96.3 1267.3
- 30. Parker, Jason (USA) 1159
- * Olympic record