Pistol problems fail to stop Russian shooter Ekimov from victory at military games

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-20 20:40:34|Editor: huaxia
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WUHAN, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Russian shooter Leonid Ekimov overcame a pistol malfunction to take gold in the men's individual 25m military rapid fire pistol competition Sunday at the 7th Military World Games in central China's Wuhan.

Ekimov, 32, remained remarkably calm to edge out Ukraine's Pavlo Korostylov by just one point, 590-589, in a tense battle.

"(Ekimov's) pistol malfunctioned after the midway mark of the competition," said Russia coach Aleksandr Svslov.

"He remained very calm to complete the competition the way he did. This (malfunction) has never happened before for Leonid in a major competition.

"I asked my shooters today to enjoy the competition and to try to relax."

Ekimov, who won gold in the center fire competition at the 2010 World Championships in Munich, Germany, and competed in the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games, said he was "very happy" to win.

That was easier said than done with a malfunctioning pistol winning a tight, tense competition. "It was a tough competition," he said. "I was concerned when there was the malfunction. In fact the whole competition was pretty tense. I was only able to relax after the last shot."

Third place had to be decided on a shoot-off between Oleksandr Petriv of Ukraine, Czech Republic's Tomas Tehan and Park Junwoo of South Korea, with Tehan eventually taking the bronze.

Korostylov's coach Oleg Tkachou said he was happy with the silver, but that a crucial mistake had cost him the gold.

"This is a very high standard of competition," said Tkachou, who competed as a shooter in the first CISM Military World Games in Rome in 1995.

"We are hoping for more medals before competition finishes."

Ukraine may have narrowly missed out on top spot in the men's individual 25m military rapid fire pistol competition, but they went better about an hour later in the 50m rifle prone women's team event.

The team of Nataliia Kalnysh, Lesia Leskiv and Anna Ilina tallied 1867.4 points to take the top position on the podium ahead of Norway (1861.5), who just edged out third-placed China (1861.3) by 0.2 points.